KEYWORDS: love, lord, time, things, heart, others

Gems and Jewels, Part 1

Karen Zerby

Keys to Victory series

By MariaMaria #623 CM/FM 3416 6/01

Cover quote: I love the delight and excitement that My precious jewels from the heavenly realm bring to My brides!

Dearest Family,

1. We had so many wonderful messages from the Lord on such a variety of topics that we wanted to share with you that the Lord showed us to put them together in jewels GNs. Each of these messages is not by any means comprehensive or representative of all the counsel on any given subject, as the Lord always has more to say, and there are always many aspects and facets of each situation. So if you have further questions after reading any of these, don't hesitate to ask our wonderful Husband for more! I love you!

Much love always, Mama

Going for the Gold?

2. This message was given for a young couple who'd had several young children, one right after the other, in their first years of marriage. They were wondering if the Lord would consider it really bad or out of it if they were to think and pray about using some form of contraception, so they could have a break. They weren't opposed to having more children in the future, but they just didn't feel like they could handle more right then. The Lord's answer to them is so sweet and comforting, and I pray that any of you who are in a similar situation will be encouraged by it as well.

3. After receiving the message which follows and seeking the Lord further themselves, the Lord told them that they could ask Him for a break and He would give it to them. They decided to trust the Lord completely, and the Lord fulfilled His promise and gave them the break that they requested. God bless them!

4. (Jesus speaking:) When I look upon you, sweet ones, I don't see your lacks, your mistakes, your problems‚ or your hesitations. I don't judge you by the areas in which you feel you fall short. I judge you by your love for Me and your desire to do My will.

5. You've been faithful. You've been loyal. You've been through the fire of afflictions and battles, and yet you fight on. You've had your doubts, your times of seeming defeat‚ your times of discouragement, yet through all of these times you've remained under the shadow of My wings. You've stood by My side when others disowned Me. You've given your all when some others would only have given a part. You've trusted Me with your life, your marriage, your love‚ your happiness, and your children—this is why I'm proud of you.

6. I know that you don't feel that you've always had perfect faith. I know that you don't feel that you've always yielded fully to My will. I know you certainly don't feel perfect or free from faults. This you understand clearly. But one thing you don't fully understand is that I see past your failings, your lacks, your deficiencies, and I see your heart.

7. I know your heart is full of love for Me. I know that in your heart you desire to yield your all. I know that in your heart you would like to have mighty faith that never wavers and is never tempted or tried. Sometimes you expect too much of yourselves. Sometimes you expect more perfection than I do. I don't expect or desire perfection; I only expect and desire love. And this you've given Me without thought of yourself, your own happiness, or your future.

8. I designed and created your body, your heart‚ your mind and your spirit to be weak, to be fallible, and to be incomplete and insufficient without Me. I created you in a human form, with a body that makes mistakes and isn't always perfect‚ so I don't expect perfection.

9. Even when you have My strength and My power within you, I can't allow you to be perfect, for this would only minister to your pride. Even when you're close to Me, loving Me intimately‚ abiding in the center of My will and serving Me to the best of your ability, I allow you to be weak, to lack in faith, to have feelings of uncertainty‚ so that you will always remember that it's My Spirit that sustains you and causes you to prosper.

10. I use your failings, your times of uncertainty, your times of trial, the times when you feel you're lacking in faith, the times when you don't fully yield to Me‚ to humble you and draw you closer to Me. My loves, I don't require perfection; all that I desire is your love and your dependence on Me. I know that you're human, that you're weak, that you get tired, and that the Enemy buffets you with his lies and doubts. If I'd given you a supernatural body, then perhaps I could expect perfection from you; but I never expect perfection from you, as that is never possible. I only desire your love and your desperation.

11. I understand you, I understand your heart, I understand that you're weak and weary. And if there are times when you feel that you can't completely trust Me and you don't feel you're ready for another baby, then I will understand. If you're loving Me intimately, if you're following the new moves of the Spirit, if you're hearing My voice in prophecy, if you're obeying Me in every other area of your life, yet you feel you need a little break from childbearing, then I won't condemn you for this, and I won't withdraw My blessings from you because of your decision.

12. Of course‚ My desire is that all would reach a level of faith where they feel that they can trust Me completely, but I realize that this deep faith and trust is built with time, with love, and with experience. I know your frame, and if you must take the steps slowly, then I don't condemn you for that. Perhaps you just need a little time to get your connection strengthened with Me‚ and then you'll be able to proceed with full faith, fully aware of the results that may occur as you continue to "go for the gold."

13. My desire is that in all of your ways you would acknowledge Me. If you go ahead with the letter of the law‚ out of pride, saying that you'll never use a condom, yet in your heart you don't have the faith, this is not My will. And if you decide to use condoms and not trust Me completely‚ without first hearing My specific Words for you, then this is not My will either. Whatever you decide must be done in counsel with Me.

14. I work in your lives differently than I work in the lives of others; no two cases are the same. I understand that you're weak and frail, so I simply ask that you come to Me and let Me guide you each step of the way. There are many areas of your life—many areas that require faith, trust, and yieldedness. "Going for the gold" is just one of many areas in which I desire your complete faith‚ trust‚ and yieldedness. But many elevate the "go for the gold" issue above every other aspect of faith and yieldedness.

15. I look at the overall picture and I judge righteous judgment. I look at the yieldedness of your heart in every area of your life, not just whether you're completely yielded to having babies. I look at your faith and obedience to all of My Words of instruction‚ not just your obedience and faith in bearing My babies.

16. I love you, My dear ones, and I am a loving Husband with a heart full of understanding. Continue to seek Me, as you have been, and I will show you what steps to take along this road of yieldedness and faith, along this road that brings with it the rewards of bearing My children. This road isn't always easy, so I take you along step by step‚ gently and lovingly. You must not push yourself, for I don't push you. You must simply walk in step with Me. Come to Me and ask Me for My counsel, and you'll find that the load will not be too heavy and the burden will not crush you.

17. Thank you for your yieldedness. Thank you for yielding to My will. Thank you for being such faithful parents, and for caring for the jewels that I've lent to you. I've bestowed upon you a great honor, as the caretakers of My little ones. Thank you for loving them with My love and for teaching them of My love. I will not give you one more child than is best for you—but you must also believe this. Don't be condemned. Don't be discouraged. Your faith will grow as you continue loving Me and placing your full confidence in Me.

18. Remember that I'm not a strict taskmaster; I'm your loving Husband. I remember your frame, I see your faults, I see your lacks, and I love you anyway. You won't find the word "perfection" in My rulebook. The words you will find are love, dedication, loyalty, humility, desperation, dependence, faith and yieldedness—and I have found these qualities in you, My loves. (End of message from Jesus.)


19. (Mama: ) When you entertain habits long enough‚ they become part of your nature—and that's the scary thing about bad habits. If you keep a habit up long enough, it eventually becomes part of you. We asked the Lord for some counsel on the subject, and He sent dear Dad with a very good message.

20. (Dad speaking: ) Everyone has weaknesses; it's just part of being imperfect and human. But the Lord can turn those weaknesses into strengths, and what was once a bad habit can become a good habit. There are all kinds of weaknesses and bad habits—such as being unprayerful, being in a rushed or pressured spirit, neglecting the Lord and His Word, negative thinking, being critical, unwise speech, being too loud, not praising, being impatient or angry in spirit—so many negative spiritual habits can be formed and take root in your life. Habits can either take root for good or bad‚ and if it's for bad‚ they can become very difficult to get rid of and change for the better—but not impossible!—Definitely not impossible with the Lord's help.

21. He's always willing to do the impossible‚ and it takes an impossible situation, a real difficult situation, for Him to do a miracle‚ and for you to recognize His miracle-working hand. That's the wonderful thing about Jesus and His power; He can overcome anything—any sin, any battle, any bad habit‚ any negative personality trait. There's nothing too hard for Him, and He'll deliver you from whatever bad spiritual habit you've formed if you put your will on His side and determine to work on it until He does the miracle. It'll take work on your part, but most of all you just have to pray desperately and ask for His help. Seek Him in prayer and prophecy and ask Him to give you counsel and instruction for your life and what you specifically need to do to make progress and get over whatever bad habit it is.

22. You have to receive the things He tells you and believe and go to work on it, because if you don't try, He can't do the miracle. It's impossible in your own human flesh, because with some habits, if you've allowed them to go on and on for years and years, they can actually become so second nature to you that they're a part of you. They become part of your personality, part of your nature, and you hardly even notice or recognize that you have a bad habit. You begin to think that things can never change, because that's just the way you are. But really you weren't that way before you allowed that bad habit to form and take root, so of course you can change it if you're willing to get desperate with the Lord and work on it.

23. For example, people who have a problem with negative thinking and have been negative thinkers most of their lives, or daydreamers, have a difficult bad habit to work on. But many have testified of the Lord's power to deliver them, and are now positive thinkers with a whole new outlook on life. They've been transformed and changed and no longer have those same old negative-thinking habits. If you've formed some bad habit through years of reacting a certain way, the sooner you ask the Lord to help you, the better. You might think you're beyond hope and there's no use trying, especially if you're older. But every day makes a difference, and every time you change your reaction away from the bad habit, you're forming the good habit and the good way of reacting, and it's taking root.

24. Some of those old bad habits will be difficult to break because they've gotten to the point that you don't even recognize them. If that's the case with you and you're not sure what to do and how to go about things, the first thing you need to do is pray and ask the Lord for some counsel, for His thoughts on it. Ask others too—someone you're close to, your shepherds, or someone who you feel can help you to recognize your bad habits and help you to know what to do about them. Seek the Lord about it, get His directions, and then start out by faith to make things better.

25. Continue to seek the Lord for encouragement along the way, because most likely you'll get discouraged and feel like giving up—but you can't do that! You have to make a commitment to continue to work on it and keep trying, even if you feel like you're not seeing any progress. Make a list of the things the Lord tells you to do, the specific instructions and encouragement He gives you. Review the list often, and this will help to keep you on track.

26. Even though it's a difficult climb uphill to break bad habits, as long as you keep going‚ you'll win and you'll be successful. The Lord will do it‚ because He loves you and He wants you to break whatever bad habit you've formed, so He's willing to give you the help you need. Ask for a spirit helper in the particular area you need help in‚ and He'll send you someone to help you to fight and keep going.

27. For those who are just in the beginning stages of some bad habit, at the stage where it's not too bad yet and you're aware that you're doing something that you shouldn't be doing, it's much easier to break the habit now before it gets to be too much of a rut and you have a real struggle to break it. When it gets to the point that you can't consciously do anything about it, that you can't just decide not to do something, when it gets to the point that it takes desperate prayer, seeking the Lord for His answers, and a real miracle of deliverance‚ then you've formed a bad habit.

28. It's much easier to pray about your habits as you notice them forming. Take stock of the things you do and ask the Lord to show you the things that you're doing that you shouldn't be doing. If you do that regularly‚ the Lord will help you become aware of the things that are becoming habits that shouldn't be, and you can recognize them and do something about them when they're easier to change.

29. But that's not to say the Lord can't deliver‚ even if your habit is very bad and very deeply ingrained, so much so that it feels like it's part of your nature. Of course He can‚ and He will, as soon as you ask Him to come to your rescue—but it will be more of a fight and more difficult than if you had caught it in the very beginning. Ask the Lord for some promises to stand on, specific ones about how He will help you to break the habit. Then do your part, and He'll do His! (End of message from Dad.)

30. (Mama: ) After reading this, take some time to ask the Lord what habits He'd like you to work on changing. Then ask Him for some specific tips that you can use to help break the habit. Here are some other tips the Lord has given:

  1. Ask for united prayer, and along with your prayer request, make it known that you're open to being reminded if people see you doing the thing you're trying to get out of the habit of doing. It's humbling, but it's very effective, because you're not only harnessing the power of Heaven by asking for prayer and getting the spiritual backing you need, but you're also setting up safeguards for yourself by letting your mates and loved ones know. You're also making a commitment to change, which will help you be more aware on a daily basis. And the times you forget, you'll have your loved ones nearby who can help remind you!
  2. Take every opportunity to do the opposite of whatever it is that you're in the habit of doing. Even if it seems insincere or the opposite of what you feel like doing, it's not being hypocritical—it's putting feet to your prayers! After a while, a new habit will form, and it will get easier and easier.
  3. Put up signs and reminders for yourself.
  4. Memorize verses on the subject‚ and review them often throughout the day. Every time you do, you'll be reminding yourself of the push you're making to break the habit.
  5. Claim the specific promises the Lord gives you. Read over the specific tips He gives you. Make an effort in the spirit, and the flesh or physical manifestations will soon follow.
  6. If it's a habit that you're trying to work on as a Home, or together with your mate in your marriage, pray for it every time you're together.
  7. Give encouragement to anyone who's trying to break a habit when you see them doing the right thing. Cheer each other on! Don't let familiarity or expecting someone to be a certain way hinder you or them from changing. Expect miracles! As the old saying goes, "Tell her she's beautiful, and she'll be beautiful!"

PE = Privileged Experience!

31. This is a message that was given for a young man who had just confessed to an excommunicable offense and received partial excom. This message from Jesus will probably not only be encouraging for those of you who have gone through something similar, but also to all of us, because we all make many mistakes‚ often big ones, and this is a little reminder of how the Lord sees them—so differently than we do.

32. (Jesus speaking: ) A just man falls seven times and rises up again‚ and goes on to win the race that is set before him. You are a man after My Own heart, just like David was. Though you've fallen and you've failed many times in your life, yet you have the determination and the fight to keep going for Me.

33. Though you've fallen again and you made this mistake, this blunder‚ this doesn't change My love for you. In fact, it only increases My love. By allowing you to stumble, this has humbled you. This has made you desperate for My forgiveness, and the meek and the contrite heart I will never turn away. I take you now into My arms and hold you close to My bosom. I tenderly wipe away the tears of condemnation that you shed. Please don't feel condemned about your mistake, for many have fallen; many have made similar blunders‚ if not worse.

34. Although you broke the rules and although you'll have to suffer the consequences for doing so‚ it's the position of your heart and your humility that greatly pleases Me. You see yourself as nothing, as useless, as worthless, but I see you as so much more. I look at you and I see the great possibilities. You're as a ball of clay, and as of right now, not very much to behold. But I look at you and I see the unlimited things that I can make, useful tools for Me that you can become as you yield to My molding and My remaking of you.

35. During this time of PE we will draw ever so close. It's My opportunity to become more a part of your life‚ for I have your full attention. You'll be able to concentrate more on Me than you would if you were not on PE, and this I do as a love gift to you. Even though it may not seem like a gift of My love but more as a punishment, know that I look on things in a completely different way than you do. I manifest My love in ways that may seem contrary to you at first, but further down the line you'll see that this was indeed a blessed time together—a time when I strengthened you, a time when I poured into you like never before.

36. Please don't despair, don't give up hope. You have what it takes to be a valiant soldier in My Endtime army, and I need you! I need you fighting by My side. I need you to strengthen your brothers and sisters in the days ahead. Although you stumble and fall now, in times to come you will help to strengthen those brothers and sisters around you who are stumbling. You will have experienced the same trials, the same battles, the same onslaughts of the Evil One, and you will understand and help them through their trials.

37. So don't give up the fight! Just come now and lie in My arms and cast your cares upon Me. Don't worry what others think of you, because I love you, and that's all that matters. And your brothers, sisters‚ shepherds and parents love you too. They admire you for your honesty and your willingness to confess and bear the punishment for your confessing. It's not an easy thing to do, and they're aware of this. They're fighting by your side‚ upholding you in prayer, and I too am praying for you that your faith fail not. Come to Me and feed of My Words, for in doing this you will find renewed strength, renewed vision‚ renewed hope for the future.

38. I have great plans for you! Just yield to Me now‚ say yes to Me, allow Me to remold and remake you into the vessel that I need you to be. It will be a mighty vessel‚ a useful tool in My hand, but to make it I need your yieldedness.

39. Look at this time as a privilege, as a Privileged Experience—a time when we can have one-on-one communication‚ fellowship‚ and tutoring. Come to Me now and let us walk together through the fields, and let Me show you all that I have for you so that you may learn all that I would teach you. I love you, and I'm always near to be that encouragement, that shoulder to lean on, that shoulder to cry on. I'm your Comforter and I'm here for you. (End of message from Jesus.)

The Time Robber of the End!

40. (Jesus speaking:) Come, let Me tell you of the struggle I had when I had to stand up for the right in My time. In those dry, dusty days, when we traveled slowly and far by foot, things took time—just to tend to even basic matters.

41. Just washing up was no simple matter, as first the water had to be gathered, brought from quite a distance, and carried in sufficient quantity for us all to use. There were chores that modern living spares you all from, which took those in My time great effort and time. Tending to the animals‚ growing some of our own food, walking great distances to deliver goods made in the carpenter's shop; all these things slowed us down a great deal from the way man is heading in these days of the End.

42. Yet your Father David still had a touch of that which was slow and that which was simple. Let it not be lost amidst the flurry to try to please Me. In your desire to be fruitful, those moments spent slowly contemplating life, noticing My special touches of love in the sky for you, recognizing the blossoming flower I had prepared for your passing enjoyment, can be missed in your running to serve.

43. I understand the fervent desire you have to please. I understand the longing to be of service and to be used of Me. I too had such a wish to be what My Father was expecting of Me. Yet I learned over many years that in slowly going about that which was set before Me, lifting up those I was surrounded by, and reaching out with touches of love and encouragement, I was close to the Kingdom in these seemingly unimportant things.

44. Imagine My frustration when faced with the religious leaders, when I was idealistic, young, energetic, and in My twenties, and My Heavenly Father led Me to simply observe, take it in and watch, waiting for His perfect time. Little did I suspect that it would yet be several years before I should stand with honesty, truth, and conviction to finally right the massive, countless wrongs I'd witnessed over those previous 30 years! But, oh, how wise it was to wait!

45. When I moved in My Father's perfect timing, armed with a heart filled with all I'd seen and all I'd talked over in prayer throughout those years, then I had the anointing that has been matched by no other.

46. One of the Devil's main tactics in these days of the End is to send the world hell-bent to destruction. Thus it takes guts, uncompromising faith, and real conviction to stand strong against the pull of this current of the world. It whirls about you, but as those who are "in the world but not of it," I urge you to come out from them and be ye separate.

47. Look back to the original days when your Father David was starting this wonderful Family. Examine how much time he set aside for quiet time, time alone for contemplation and relaxation. With many cares of this world‚ and many to attend to, priorities get so easily swamped. You can hardly resist the urge to fill each moment with action.

48. Fear not‚ My loves‚ for I see your desire to be of service. I understand your wish to be of help. But if you're to be different from those around you, make time to be alone—quiet in My creation, contemplating, and receiving from Me. It is in this quietness of spirit that you will be refilled and refreshed.

49. I've called you to busy places where the lost are thronging around you. I've called you to places rich in fruit and where the harvest is ripe wherever you turn. Yet take a lesson from the farmer. He steps back when the day is done to reflect, to be quiet, without the sounds and sights of the Enemy, so that I can give him new strength and direction for the next day. So it should be with you‚ My dear ones. I long to re-strengthen you. I long for you to be rested and refreshed in the arms of My love.

50. Stand back and ask Me to help you sort between that which you must do and that which can wait. That which is committed to Me in prayer‚ will it not be tended to far better than if you'd taken it upon yourselves to do? Seek Me for the balance. Come to Me constantly with your burdens. I am meek and lowly in heart; therefore learn of Me, and you will find rest unto your souls.

51. A rested soul is a soul which is able to pour out and to give from the abundance of its fullness. Take time to rest, to drink in of Me. Use those moments in the evening to be quiet, to step outside, to listen to My wind and My whispers. In these moments alone‚ you will find the strength to live as My bride, as one wife‚ in unity.

52. The Enemy uses tiredness to cause a lack of spiritual strength and a lack of vision. Those who start to feel that it's too much and that the battle looms too hard, often simply need a time alone of refreshment, a few days without the normal pressures, to come into My arms and be loved to the full.

53. Fear not to take that time of quiet. In fact‚ fear if you don't take it. The Enemy of your soul would crowd out every moment I would prepare and set aside for you. See, therefore, that you seek Me for how each moment is filled. No situation is so busy that there is no way to take time with Me.

54. Call unto Me! Cry out to Me! I will not fail to show you ways to pull back, to arrange things, so that we can have time to rest together. If you can have the conviction and faith to pull out and make that time, you will find treasures of youth, of strength, and of vision that you hardly imagined you could have before!

55. Rest, My loves, and enjoy that which I have freely given you … time! For of all things the Enemy would love to try to steal, it is your time! His purpose in using the Internet, television, entertainment, video games and movies is to fill the world with action and eat up time, deceiving man to think he's using it well. As the days grow worse and worse, so does the Enemy use these avenues more effectively—to distract, to hypnotize, and to cause life to be a passive thing.

56. I give each soul years, days, and hours to be spent in caring for others, being of assistance‚ showing love. Yet the Enemy seeks to sap each potential moment of renewal by eating up the moments with garbage‚ pollutants‚ and waste.

57. Thus is your struggle in these days of the End—in many ways, far more difficult than in My day. Thus will it be said of you that "greater things shall ye do," because it will take greater conviction to stand against the pull of the Enemy on your time. It will take greater guts to resist the urge to do that which seems to be interesting to the neglect of that which is best—a quiet moment of renewal with Me.

58. The time robber is lurking about‚ seeking whom he may destroy. Be not his next meal‚ My loved ones!

59. Listen to Me, My children, and be not afraid of making times of rest. Fight against that which would clutter your lives with obligations to the point of exhaustion. I often walked in the hills above the town to drink in of My Father's creation, of His love for Me‚ and to pour out My soul to Him.

60. Find your hills! Seek for those moments! Call out to Me to show you that which has to be done and that which can be committed to Me. For if you can become conquerors in this matter of using your time, if you can resist the Enemy's entrapments and ambushes to fill what could be precious moments of renewal‚ then you will be more than conquerors! You will be some of the few able to rise above the most effective wiles of the Devil in these Last Days. (End of message from Jesus.)


Or Discouragement?

61. (Mama:) We've all had times when we've put a lot of effort into something, but it turned out wrong; or we've worked hard on something and thought we were finished, and then had to go back and start again. Here's a real good message from Dad on the subject, on how to take it!

62. (Dad speaking: ) There are lots of disappointments in life. Things go wrong. Sometimes things change midstream and end up somewhere else. Sometimes even your efforts to do good are rejected, and it can lead to disappointment. But even if you're disappointed about the way things turn out, you don't have to be discouraged. There's a big difference between just feeling disappointed and letting things get you down and discouraged to the point that you feel like giving up, or get angry, or lash out and retaliate in some way.

63. It's okay to feel disappointed sometimes; in fact, the Lord allows incidents and circumstances in life that are disappointing to strengthen us. He tests and tries us to see how we're doing and how we're going to react. Even disappointment and things going wrong don't have to keep you down and discouraged, because your faith and your attitude can determine the way the circumstances affect you. And often your faith and trust in the Lord can even change circumstances completely, as the Lord works on your behalf. It's all in how you look at it, how you take it.

64. Circumstances and events don't have to control you. With the Lord's help and with the right positive attitude, you can go through any changes, any disappointments, any circumstances, and come out happy. There's real power in the spirit, and you have the opportunity to choose what kind of spirit you want to be in, whether up or down. It's often the tests in life that can really bring out the best in your attitude, if you'll let them. It's not a test to stay encouraged when everything's going right, but it's when things go wrong in life that your attitude and faith get tested.

65. The Lord has all the power and strength you need for any situation. All you have to do is look to Him and draw on His strength to overcome any difficulty. Just ask Him to change things around. If He can't change the circumstances‚ then He can help you to change how you feel about things. It's a wonderful thing to have the power of Jesus ready to help you. Praise the Lord! (End of message from Dad)

(See also Christian Digest #20‚ "Making Things Right.")

How Is Greater Commitment

Or Dedication Manifested?

66. (Question:) The Lord is requiring a greater level of commitment and dedication from our Homes and from each individual. How is that manifested, and what should be expected from each individual?

67. (Jesus speaking: ) I lead each one down the path of My will, and along this path are pleasures which I have put there for their enjoyment‚ their recreation. Also along the path are distractions which prevent them from moving forward along the path of My will. It's part of My will for each to stop and enjoy the pleasures which I've put there‚ but it's not My will for them to be distracted.

68. The distractions are steps in reverse rather than steps forward, but these distractions are different for each individual. If they have trouble or difficulty deciphering whether it's a pleasure or a distraction‚ they should ask Me, and also counsel with their shepherds, so that they might have conviction, faith and peace, knowing that what they're doing is according to My will and done in counsel with their shepherds. In the multitude of counselors there is safety and My will is established.

69. There are many things which can, on the one hand, be a pleasure, which I have given for enjoyment and recreation if used properly, but on the other hand can be a distraction if abused, or put before Me, or done out of My Spirit, or out of the counsel and guidelines I've laid down. For some it might be alcohol. For some it might be movies. For some it might be computer games. For some it might be relationships. Then there are other things that are simply distractions and not of Me: a craving for System music or input; ungodly attitudes and desires regarding sex; the desire for independence and rebellion against godly fellowship; misguided pursuits of individuality.

70. The manifestation of greater commitment is in doing what I ask‚ even if it includes saying yes when usually you would say no; reaching out at times when you would rather be by yourself; spending time with Me or alone when you'd rather be with other people; spending time with the children when you'd rather be with the adults; spending time with the adults when you'd rather be with the young people; giving to someone in need when you would prefer to receive.

71. As you continue down the path of My will and as you ask Me about the desires, dreams, and ambitions of your heart, I will make it clear to you which steps I want you to take, which will lead you to greater commitment and dedication. Although at times the steps will be difficult steps—sacrifice, giving and sharing—you will see My blessings as a result of being willing to go in the direction of My choosing.

72. Don't fear that I will ask you to give up all the things you enjoy simply because I want to make you more committed. That's not how I work. The more I see you want to please Me, the more I give you the things you like and work out special opportunities for you that you wouldn't have had otherwise. I love to see you happy! But I also know that the happiest you'll ever be is when you're fully committed to Me and fulfilling My highest will for you, without wasting time on distractions which don't satisfy and which delay you from fulfilling your destiny.

73. How is a greater degree of commitment and dedication manifested? Ask Me, and I'll show you how I wish for it to be manifested in your life. You will see the manifestations of it in your life as you choose to do and perform My will according to My plan and the instructions I give you. If you run into a situation where you question, "Is this a pleasure or is this an obstacle, a distraction?" counsel with wise counselors so that they can help you to decipher which it is. But most of all, counsel with Me, and I will make it clear to you what My will is.

74. Thank you, My children, for choosing Me. I delight in giving you pleasures as you perform My will. I will give the very best to those who wholeheartedly and cheerfully leave the choices up to Me. That's a promise! (End of message from Jesus.)

You've Got to Give It Away …

75. (Mama:) Have you found yourself being closed off or cool in your interactions with others, when you used to be more loving and affectionate? Have you caught yourself having selfish reactions out of habit, and wondered how you could have become that way so easily, without even realizing it? Have you felt that your life has become dry‚ that you're indifferent in spirit to the needs of those around you‚ and that you're lacking in love or motivation? Here's some good counsel from the Lord on what can cause that spiritual condition, and how to break the cycle!

76. (Jesus speaking: ) You ask how it's possible to lose the love I give you to give to others. You wonder how it's possible to backslide in this area? It's simple. Every time you withhold the love I would give through you, your heart becomes just a little bit harder. Over time, it's hardened more and more, to the point where there is a hard crust on the outside of your heart, and as much as you want to give out My love, you're encased in a cage of hardness and indifference.

77. This is the way it works: If you want to break down those walls, you have to break through with one little thing at a time. Just like water running through a leak in the dike, the hole will grow bigger and bigger till the crusty exterior will crumble and be washed away by the great flow of love I give you.

78. I can't pour great measures of love on you while your heart is hardened. I must wait till you begin to pour out so that I can pour back in. If you're full, how can I fill you more? It's only in giving away that which I've given you that you're able to receive more.

79. So each day give a little more than you did the day before. Give to someone else and let Me widen the hole in the walls you've allowed to build up around your heart. Let Me wash away all the walls you've built with a flood of My love. Let Me rush in and rush out to others.

80. Open up and pour out so that you may receive. Open your heart so My glory can flow in, and so the crusty and hardened exteriors may be broken down and melted by the warmth of My love as your heart beats with love for others.

81. Take the little steps of love today. Express your love to someone you don't normally talk to with a hug or a kiss. Hold someone's hand and tell them how special they are both to you and to Me. Love the unlovely—for what reward is it to love only those who you're attracted to? What sacrifice is that? I reward your love, but I reward the most a sacrificial love and a giving of love that is difficult. When you give from a heart that is full of My love to those who you don't like in the flesh, or to those you have a hard time getting along with, then I give you extra blessings, and this does much more to break down the walls. This is genuine love, not a selfish‚ me-first love. It's a genuine, sharing love that gives and cares with My love.

82. Really make an effort today to love others. Everyone you come in contact with is special to Me. I love each one‚ great or small, old or young, pretty or plain‚ handsome or normal‚ and I want to use you to show them My love. It matters not what a person is like outwardly; to Me what matters is their heart—and I want to use your heart to love their heart, and their heart to love another's heart, so that the warmth of My love might spread, and that all may be happy in My fold!

83. My commission to you today is to love, love, love! Love is blind in some ways. It sees not the weaknesses, only the strengths. It sees not the disadvantages, only the advantages. It sees the good where others cannot see it. It sees the potential where others only see the current mistakes. So let My love wash through your heart and overflow on those around you. Amen? (End of message from Jesus.) (See also "Prophecies on Yieldedness‚" ML #3044:44-56, Lifelines 23.)

Motivation for Your Work

When You Just Don't Have It

84. (Jesus speaking:) The best thing you can do at a time like that is pray. Come before Me and seek Me for My help and strength. That's why I allow it to happen sometimes, so that you'll stop and pray and seek Me—not just for the motivation to work, but for the strength, anointing, and wisdom that you need. You've learned to pray more throughout the day as you work, but you can improve in this area until it becomes second nature. This feeling of not being able to get into work should remind you that you should pray both for the motivation and for the work itself. So that's part of the solution to the problem: more prayer for motivation and drive, and more prayer in all your work throughout the day.

85. Another part of the solution is to ask for prayer from the Home. It's humbling, but it's good for you. I can change you and help you to be more motivated, but it has to come from Me, not from yourself. You can receive this blessing and this change if you ask for prayer from others.

86. Third‚ you need to make an effort to think more about others and less about yourself. At those times when you just don't feel like working‚ think about others and their needs, and it will give you the motivation that you need. Think how much the lost and needy will benefit from the tools you're giving out‚ how much the children will benefit from the care and training you're giving them, how thankful the Home will be for the meal you're preparing, how much the Home will benefit from the business you're taking care of, etc. Think about the results of your work and you'll feel more inspired and determined to go on.

87. Fourth, just do it! Take the plunge‚ block out everything else, and jump in! As they went, they were healed—and as they went, they got the anointing, as your Father David has said.

88. Fifth, take a break sometimes! Sometimes it's helpful to do something else for a morning or afternoon, if you can. Cook a meal, freeing the cook to go witnessing, or take the kids for an afternoon. Or if you're normally on childcare, trade with someone and fill in for another ministry. Getting away from what you normally do can be very refreshing, and can help you appreciate others more.

89. Other times I might know you need a break of some time spent with Me‚ or to just sit down for a few minutes of relaxation. Go talk to someone. Go outside for a few minutes of praise time‚ thanking Me for My wonderful creation and all the blessings in your life. Maybe I want you to take a little time away from your ministry for some praise time, or a little Word time, or prayer time‚ or a short time of fellowship with others, so that you'll feel renewed and motivated.

90. Whatever you do, don't give up, don't despair, and keep fighting! Your work is important and you're very needed where you are, so don't let the Enemy get you down. Often these feelings that you get are attacks of the Enemy to try to get you down and discouraged, or to hinder your effectiveness. So don't give in to them! Resist the Devil, call out to Me, and follow the instructions I've given you. Keep going! (End of message from Jesus.)

Summary: Getting Motivated

1. Ask the Lord for His help, strength, and motivation.

2. Ask for prayer from the Home.

3. Make an effort to think more about others and less about yourself.

4. Just do it, and you'll get the anointing for it.

5. Take a break sometimes.

Don't give up or despair, and keep fighting!

The Importance of

Giving Your Tears to the Lord

91. (Mama:) This next message was received for one of our precious young people who had endured a painful heartbreak. As you will see, the Lord gives good counsel about the right and wrong way to take it when you're going through something like that. The Lord often allows difficulties in our lives for a special reason, and if we allow them to soften us and draw us closer to Him, they benefit us tremendously. It's a real shame to have to go through some painful experience and come out of it realizing that you missed what the Lord wanted you to learn because you hardened yourself against it or didn't allow it to break you and bring out the sweetness. Of course, the situation doesn't have to be a broken heart because of a lost love; it can be any purging or breaking or difficult circumstances that the Lord is bringing you through.

92. In this message the Lord also talks about becoming a shepherd—which, as Peter explained in "The Action Series!—Part 3" (ML #3308, GN 908), the Lord is asking all of you to prepare to become. With the new increase in our Family membership and the many that the Lord is going to bring to our Homes to be fed‚ everyone is going to need to be prepared to shepherd others.

93. The Lord explains in this message that brokenness is the gate that all shepherds must pass through. If the Lord is working heavily in your life or you're finding yourself in a difficult situation, it could be that the Lord is trying to use it to make you into more of a shepherd, to prepare you with the spiritual qualities of understanding, compassion, brokenness, depth of spirit, and closeness to Him that you'll need.

94. Please ask Him about it. Ask Him what He's doing in your life, so that you can be strengthened through it and get all the mileage out of it you can, rather than enduring the difficulty but not really gaining the prize.

95. (Jesus speaking:) I know that you love Me, My son, and I promise you that I will abundantly reward you for opening yourself to Me and asking Me these questions, for allowing Me to probe into the areas still smarting from the pain. I probe, I dig, I extract, and I lay bare before you what ails you in order to heal you.

96. I know that you have wept many tears, but you've allowed these same tears to work against you. But you say, "Lord, You know that I've wept till I felt my tear ducts had no more tears to yield, till I could weep no more! How can You say this, Lord?" Yes, you wept, and you bravely fought through the sea of emotions, of heartbreak. There were times when it was just you and I in the boat on the strong and surging sea and undercurrents of emotion.

97. You bravely fought on through the weeks of storm conditions, and I was always there with you, always beside you as a strong staff of support, a ballast to hold you up and see you through this time of heart wrenching. Much of the elements of these storms were fought in secret, in your heart and spirit, where only you and I knew the full depths. Yes, those were journeys and depths that only you and I and the strength of My Word could fully navigate together. We made it through that together.

98. But you forgot one thing, My love—you didn't give those tears to Me. Instead of letting them flow and allowing them to break you and soften and melt your heart, you allowed those tears to collect around your heart and stagnate.

99. And why did you allow those tears to collect? Why didn't you give those tears to Me? Because you knew that along with them being tears of heartbreak, they were also salty tears—tears tinged with bitterness and resentment toward Me, and thus you couldn't face Me and present Me with them. But alas, because you didn't humbly confess the salt in your tears—your twinges of bitterness and resentment toward Me and what I'd allowed to happen in your life—this same salt has built a strong, calloused, brittle, cynical, and impenetrable wall around your heart and spirit.

100. Instead of allowing your tears to freely fall and flow to the ground where they could bring forth fruit, where the quality "water" of your tears could nourish and water the ground of others' hearts and lives, you've chosen rather to retain your tears, to harden yourself. So the tears have collected, and have built this strong wall within you.

101. You feel that since I haven't given you what you personally desired and wanted, which would in your eyes make your service for Me easier, that you will in turn not go any further with Me. You feel that it's asking too much of you, when you've shed enough tears, been through enough‚ and I shouldn't expect more of you. After all, I've taken away your chance of happiness‚ your joy‚ your inspiration—why should you turn around and give more to Me‚ or others? The salt of your tears has hardened your ability to break and give and love. And‚ alas, this same salt has stifled and deadened some of your love for Me, your desire to grow and challenge yourself, your faith to again love, and your desire to be but a servant—a vessel of My love to others.

102. I don't say these things to hurt you further, for I only wish to free you from the past and all you experienced. Yes, you bravely fought through to victory. You "survived," you lived through it. I know and feel your love for Me. I felt the heat of your hand, the strength of your grip within My palm as we navigated those seas together. Your love for Me is what has buoyed you and given you the faith to persevere, to fight on. You availed yourself of our strong connection. You sought always to hear My voice in order to safely see you to shore. Yes‚ you "survived," My dear one, but you allowed the elements of adverse weather and storm conditions to harden you.

103. You proved yourself as a fighter, but what about love? What happened to the strength of brokenness, the strength of humility, the strength of one whose heart feels the pain of others and in turn seeks only to relieve the load and pain of others‚ to comfort others with the same comfort you have been comforted with? True shepherds go beyond the call of duty and what is required of them. Their ears are attuned to the call of love, the call that beckons them to go a step further, to show initiative, to seek out and actively pursue ways in which they can help lighten and relieve the load of others. This is a true shepherd. This goes way beyond the titles of leadership, the positions, opinions, and appearances of man.

104. You've fought and put on a good brave face for others; in this you've excelled. But, Honey, I can do little with this badge of having fought a strong battle well, if that badge bears not the shine of humility, the shine of tears, the shine of giving yourself to the utmost, the shine of love.

105. I have need of you, My love. I haven't given up on you, but I feel that in many ways you've given up on Me. You've gone on strike in spirit. You've allowed your faith in Me to flicker low—faith that I can make you happy once again, faith that joy can once again return to your life‚ that you can be used in an even greater way through serving others.

106. The days of the past and past relationships pale in comparison to what I can and want to do with you, if you're willing to allow your own desires, plans, and programs to break upon Me, your Savior, your Lover, your Rock. And one of the first steps is to lay yourself bare and naked before Me in total yieldedness. Give Me not lip service in yieldedness, but heart service in full yieldedness, having no plans or preconceived notions of your own of how you feel I should use you, how you feel you can and should be used, or even how or who I would lead you to love in the future. You still hold on to your own ideas of what type of love you would have Me lead you to. You must surrender even this. If you still hold these plans and ideas, then I can no longer use you as fully as I desire to use you.

107. Surely you haven't understood what being a shepherd means. You haven't fully understood the degree nor depth of My Word—that being a shepherd means laying down your own life for the brethren, giving all that is within you, just as I did for the love of My sheep.

108. It is a death, yes, but it is a death that is beautiful and glorious in My sight, bringing forth eternal and lasting fruit and the true beauties of spirit: sacrifice, humility, and love. No greater than these three walk among the children of men. When I asked you to step into these shoes, this was a gateway, a door to great growth for your spirit! But instead you turn away, feeling I've somehow cheated you, somehow I've given you a "raw deal," that things have gone from bad to worse, and this new role as servant of all is just too much to expect of you. Now you hide your face from these three friends—sacrifice, humility, and love—these friends who beckon and call out to you to walk with them, that you may learn of the joys, the growth, the depth of spirit and character, the great heights, the rewards, and, yes‚ the great happiness, joy‚ and true fulfillment that follows those who die to themselves in order to live for others.

109. I hold these shoes out to you, dear one. You're right; they're nothing glorious to look at. They're shabby‚ gray, and worn. And though they clearly wear the label of "shepherd‚" seen by all, yet when it comes to wearing them, the novelty and "show" of this label fades quickly‚ for they're threadbare and thin. You feel the ground beneath your feet‚ you feel the sacrifice‚ the giving, and, yes, the pain it is to wear them at times.

110. But will you trust Me, My love? Will you just as bravely take up this challenge to deny yourself and wear them well and cheerfully, as you bravely navigated those stormy seas with Me? This is no less of a taxing journey wearing these shoes than navigating those storms‚ but wearing these shoes is a journey that will take you much further, if you're willing to step into them. The great, great need is there, but the choice is up to you. I don't force you, I only offer you the choice, the opportunity.

111. You ask, "But how do I do this? What do You want me to do in order to be set free from the past and the pain of love, from bitterness or resentment?" You know the answer. It comes through humility and united prayer—through coming before the body in confession, humility, and desperation of spirit, asking Me to cleanse you and make you anew. With such a stand of humility, grace and faith I will abundantly pour into you!

112. Be not afraid of tears, My love. They're not a sign of weakness, but of strength. I want to take away the hard surface, the "I can take it" mask you've held bravely before all, and replace it with the simple transparent mask of love, humility, and brokenness.

113. The path of all true shepherds first begins by entering the gateway of brokenness. Only through this gateway will you have what it takes, what your Father David talked about in "Prayer for Love and Mercy," the kind of love and brokenness whereby you fall upon Me, your Rock‚ in humility and surrender‚ knowing you have not the love in yourself and are desperately in need of Me each step of the way. If you fall upon Me and upon the shoulders of your mates in united prayer, I promise to lift you up to heights you've only dreamed of! Truly your feet will be delivered from the miry clay of pride, hardness of heart and spirit‚ and up to the warmth and light of My love and Spirit!

114. Do you hear Her? She calls you. The Spirit calls out to you! She bids you come into Her warm and loving arms. Only there will your heart be truly healed and your spirit set free to become all that I've ordained you to become. Can you not hear Her calling you? Can you not see Her in the eyes of your brothers and sisters? Their spirits and eyes look expectantly to you‚ desiring to see one raised up from among them—one who has been bruised and broken‚ yet who is then raised from the ashes of tears and defeat to become a broken‚ humble, new vessel; a vessel that lives only to do His Master's bidding, that bears clearly the imprint of the Master's face upon its own shattered surface.

115. Are you willing to bear My imprint? Are you willing to take your place among My greats, My broken ones, in order to lead others? Are you willing to pour forth from your broken and beaten vessel love without measure, love without reservation, love without fear or hesitation, love that thinks not of itself or what it has to gain or lose‚ but the kind of love that only lives for others? (End of message from Jesus.)

The Secret to

Making Daily Progress

116. (Mama:) One of our staff members asked the Lord, "How can I be sure I'm pressing forward each day and not settling down and cooling off?"

117. (Jesus speaking: ) The way to stay revolutionary and alive is to have constant change. It's not always possible to have change in your ministry or in your surroundings, but it's always possible to have change in your heart and in your walk with Me.

118. The best way to ensure that you're not cooling off is to make an effort each day to take some new step forward. Take a step in the right direction in some area you're working on. Reach out to someone new, love someone, do something positive that's difficult for you. Refuse to sit still and vegetate. Refuse to settle down! Stay stirred up by launching out into some new venture. Try something new, learn something new, do something new.

119. Every day can be filled with excitement and challenges; all you have to do is seek them out. And you seek them out by not being satisfied with the way things always used to be. Find a newer and better way to do something. Be aggressive in your spiritual life. Hit the Enemy before he can hit you. Attack!

120. If you find yourself getting bored or stagnant or feeling like you're in a rut, then it's time to break out! It's time to do something new! Look around you! Is there someone you haven't talked to in a long time? Is there someone whose testimony you haven't heard? Is there some New Wine that you haven't read? There's always something new you can do.

121. If you ever find that you're at a loss and there doesn't seem to be anything new around you to do, come to Me and I'll give you something new in prophecy. I can give you a spirit story, a message from a spirit helper, insight on history from some great man or woman of the past who has died, the answer to a question you've always wondered about, a message of love and encouragement, or something just for fun! I'll give you whatever excitement you need, immensely more than you could ever desire. Just ask! (End of message from Jesus.)

Tips for Combating Familiarity

122. (Mama:) The dictionary defines familiarity as a state of being informal and friendly, often to the point that it can indicate a lack of respect, or lead to you being unable to appreciate someone's true value.

123. (Jesus speaking:) I'll give you a step-by-step outline of things to do in order to avoid becoming familiar with your ministry or the people you live with and are close to.

  1. The first step is to be aware of the weakness and tendency.
  2. Pray and ask for My help; and don't just pray once, but pray as often as you need to.
  3. If at any time you get a check that you're starting to get too familiar, come to Me and ask Me not only to help you, but also to show you what to do to change it or how to stir yourself up.
  4. Ask Me everything. Especially pray before you say—not just a "Lord help this come out right" prayer, but a "Should I say this or bring this up?" prayer.
  5. Stay humble. Give Me the glory and credit when things go right or you do a good job, or when you get any kind of compliment.
  6. Take things that people say seriously. Of course, there's a time and place for a little joking around, but you can't make light of everything.
  7. Likewise, be cautious in teasing. A little joking and ribbing each other from time to time is kind of a sweet way of showing you're close, that you can take things from each other, and it can be fun. But take care to keep this in check, or else you can get to where you're always teasing each other and it becomes a form of putting down or belittling the other person.
  8. When someone is explaining something, whether work or personal, listen intently. Don't interrupt until they're finished, unless you think you've misunderstood something, or not understanding something is keeping you from going on.
  9. Pray and hear from Me about how I see someone, what their most important good qualities are that you can appreciate and even help develop, as well as about any weaknesses that I would like you to do your part to help keep in check.
  10. When something comes up where you need to say something—where you give a reminder, advice, counsel, suggestion or even correction—pray about how to do it, and then do it. If you start letting things like that pass, then it quickly becomes a habit‚ and one that is very difficult to pull out of.
  11. Give regular encouragement in the form of compliments. It's not enough to feel the admiration—you have to express it. This reinforces the respect between you as well as helping things to flow smoother, because others know they're loved and appreciated.
  12. Always be looking for worthy qualities in the other person that you can admire and respect. Often you see these clearly at first, but as time passes, you lose sight of them. So remind yourself of something every day that you can appreciate. If at some point you find yourself getting critical, then take the time to make a list of all the things you respect or are thankful for about them, and read it regularly. The same applies to your ministry. Take time to list its blessings and benefits, and remind yourself of the privilege it is to be working for Me in such a capacity. (End of message from Jesus)

Guard Your Thoughts!

124. (One of our young staff members prays: ) Lord, I'd like to ask You about these weird dreams I've had the past few nights. They're kind of like the jealousy dreams I used to have, except that they're not about jealousy per se. The bad feeling is almost the same, though—that feeling of being hurt, wronged‚ misjudged‚ or treated unfairly; waking up feeling upset at someone, like, "How could they possibly do or say such things?" I've dubbed them "bitterness dreams‚" and they're very uninspiring, to say the least, and of course make me wonder if something's wrong.

125. I know I have things in my heart and mind that aren't completely pure and clean by any means. I have tendencies toward jealousy, comparing, bitterness, and murmuring. But thankfully, in real life, the emotions I feel, and certainly the situations I find myself in, are not nearly as bad as those in these dreams. Yet the way I act in the dreams scares me.

126. When I was in the bathroom this morning and praying about it briefly, You told me that I haven't been guarding my thoughts enough as I go to sleep, and that's why I've been weaker in spirit. I'm so sorry for that. I know it's true; I've let myself get into a daydreaming‚ fantasizing, analyzing kind of mind frame again and haven't been in tune with You, communing with You, and desperate with You as I go to sleep.

127. (Jesus speaking:) You are My beloved and gentle sheep; yet sometimes you're a little ramlike and obstinate in some of your ways. You do have strong opinions, ideas, and emotions, and since the heart of man is naturally sinful, of course the thoughts and intents of your heart are not all pure, loving, giving, unselfish and forgiving. There are tendencies toward jealousy and envy, bitterness and revenge; there's also the tendency to feel sorry for yourself, to bemoan and complain about your lot in life.

128. These things are not what prevail in your spirit, however‚ because I have put My Spirit within you, and I have also helped you to learn and grow so much over the past years to where the light within you is so much greater than the darkness; in fact, the darkness is nearly insignificant. Yet the Enemy's power is in fear, and he's trying to make you fear that you don't really have victories; that you don't really have enough of My light and Spirit in your life; that you'll wash out when the showdown comes; that if you were to be put in such difficult situations as you face in your dreams, you'd react badly and your emotions and anger would get the better of you.

129. His power is only in fear, My love, so what you have to do is rebuke him, defy him, and stand on My promises that I have delivered you, and that I will continue to perform and perfect My work in you.

130. You must also do your part to guard your spiritual channel by staying in tune with Me and desperate with Me. Nighttime is one of your weak spots, a time which, without having consciously decided so, you tend to want to keep for yourself rather than giving it to Me. Throughout the day you're on guard, in tune, because you know you need to be for the sake of your work for Me, and so that you can have a clear channel to hear from Me and receive My guidance. But at night you tend to let your guard down, to think of it as "your own time," the time when you don't need to be bothered with anyone or anything else.

131. Well, to some extent you do need time alone to pray and think and reflect, but even in these lone times and thoughts, I should be involved. You shouldn't just let your mind go and follow wherever it takes you, whether it be on some fanciful journey of the imagination and your hopes and dreams for love and life, or spending time scrutinizing and analyzing situations, trying to figure things or people out, or conjuring up scenarios of what might happen in your personal life or the lives of those around you. These things are not for you to trouble yourself with, My love, for they are My concern and subject to My desires. You can pray and beseech Me with your desires and hopes, but then you must leave them in My hands and trust Me.

132. The problem here is not that you have desires or daydreams, aspirations or fantasies, or even that you observe and think about things and try to understand or figure others out; the problem is that you shut Me out at these times and you let your carnal-mindedness take over.

133. I know you may think it unfair that I'm so "hard" on you, so strict, so as to be instructing and training you to have no thoughts that don't involve Me, no "down times" when you can just retreat into your own private world. The reason for this is that I need you and your channel to be refined and honed. You need to be able to hear from Me clearly, not only to help you in your personal life and your work right now, but even more so as preparation for the days to come when prophecy will become your primary means of protection and guidance.

134. I've been increasing your link with the spiritual realm and you've become much more sensitive and receptive than you were before. For this reason, you must also be more on guard. Because it's not only My spirits and My voices that attempt to get through to you‚ but the voices from the dark side as well.

135. If you want to be strong enough to refuse them, then you must build a wall that gives no place for them. These times of retreating into your own mind and natural reasoning and baser thoughts and desires, leaving Me aside, open little chinks in your defenses. They allow thoughts of bitterness, anger, hurt and hatred some "room to breathe" and develop.

136. It's not a wicked thing to have some confusion and darkness in one's mind, for this is part of human nature. Just as all have sinned‚ all have at times gotten confused and turned aside from the right way in their thoughts. I allow this because it causes you to call out to Me and seek Me for help in bringing your thoughts into captivity. Your part is then to call on Me, to carry Me with you, to keep Me close to your heart, to stay beside Me and not stray away.

137. These dreams will depart from you once you take this stand to be more vigilant and prayerful and to include Me in all your times of thought and relaxation, rather than trying to keep this one corner of your life as "your own" and leaving Me out of it. I don't want to and won't be left out. I am a jealous Lord and Husband and I want all of you, and I will have all of you.

138. As long as you keep choosing Me‚ I will continue to require more and more of you in your personal life and spiritual standard. Yet in return I will also give you more and more, and trust you with more and more‚ so that any sacrifice will seem small in comparison. I love you, My love, and all that I do or allow is for the purpose of bringing you closer and strengthening you.

139. These dreams are as tests, and they can strengthen you if you turn to Me for My help and guidance. Even in your dream last night, though you were filled with rage and bitterness‚ you still heard My still, small voice instructing you‚ warning you that such stubbornness and bitterness would get you nowhere, and that you had to yield and surrender if you were ever going to find a way out from under the cloud of gloom and depression and allow people to trust and respect you once again. So you see‚ even though the Enemy and his imps try to prey upon your weaknesses, My strength in you is so much greater than your inherent sinful nature, and I am more than able to overcome in you! (End of message from Jesus.)

Learning to Love the Fight!

140. (Mama:) Are you feeling a little low? Here's a good tidbit of counsel from Dad, received by one of our staff members who was discouraged about the continuing difficulty of her long-term affliction of a weak and sore back.

141. (Dad sings:) If you really want to knock the Devil for a loop‚ just start praising the Lord!

If you really want to knock the Devil for a loop, just start praising the Lord!

Just start praising the Lord, no matter what's happening.

Just start praising the Lord, no matter what's happening!

142. Praise is the … victory! Yes, praise is the victory! Don't look down—look up! Don't look down at the pit where the Devil is trying to throw you; look up to Heaven. Keep your eye on the donut and not upon the hole! Keep your eyes on Jesus!

143. Well, that's your answer! Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord for everything. So what if the Lord is allowing you to still be afflicted? So what if you're feeling lousy? So what if your affliction with your back is getting worse? So what?

144. Are you going to give up? Are you going to quit? Are you going to surrender to the damn Devil? Hell, no! Show him you haven't even begun to fight yet! What did John Paul Jones do? His arm was nearly shot off, his men were being killed, his ship was wrecked, and when his enemy asked if he wanted to surrender, what did he say? "Okay, I've had enough; sure, come on over, boys." No! He said, "Hell, no! NO! NO! NO! No, I'm not going to surrender! No, I'm not going to give up!" He was willing to go down with the ship, he was so sure he was on the winning side.

145. You're on the winning side! Don't give up now! Show the Enemy you're not going to surrender. Show him you're willing to go down with the ship. Keep fighting! Are you supposed to quit when you're hardest hit? No! You're supposed to keep fighting! You want to learn to love the fight? Well, then fight! Fight! Fight with everything within you! Fight until your last breath. God loves a fighter.

146. You're like the guy in that song where it says, "So you're caught in the midst of a battle, saying, 'I must've done some awful sin!'" Well, Sister, if you didn't expect to go to war, why did you join the army? You joined because you were willing to live and die for Jesus! That's what Christian soldiers do. They live for the Lord and they die for the Lord. Whatever they do, they do it all for the Lord! So to hell with the Devil and his attacks on your health. So what? Keep going! Keep doing your best. Keep serving Jesus. If the Enemy whacks off your arm, you still have another arm and two legs, right? Look at it that way!

147. The Lord doesn't willingly afflict His children. He allows them to suffer afflictions for a reason. The Lord isn't sitting back and letting all this happen to you and thinking, "Good, she's getting her just deserts!" He isn't thinking, "She's such a problem case with all these NWOs, so I don't care what happens to her!" The Lord loves you! He cares for you. "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth" (Heb. 12:6). If He didn't care about you, He would've just let you do your own thing and you would have wound up a terrible mess a long time ago!

148. You're a live one! Can't you see that?! You're a live one—one who wants to grow in the Lord, one who loves the Lord. So if you want to grow, you have to be willing to be trained, willing to learn what you need to know to do the job He's called you to do. It's all part of the job description. "Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you" (1Pet.4:12). Well, the verse does say trial, but the way it first came to you, as the word "trail," is just as true! Sometimes it's a trail‚ a road of afflictions, testings, and trials. But it isn't a never–ending road! You will arrive at your destination and go on to greater victories. So don't give up, and don't listen to the damn Devil who is trying to discourage you.

149. Yes, he's been pulling out the big guns with the renewal of these old battles with daydreaming‚ and now with your afflictions‚ and new battles that you've never fought—these waves of depression and grief of heart you're going through. But keep holding on to the Lord! Hold on, Honey!

150. When you pray and ask the Lord to do something in your life‚ you shouldn't be too surprised when the trials start coming in like a flood afterwards. So what did you recently pray? To be a better fighter‚ to love the fight, right? Well, welcome to the battleground! You've prayed and told the Lord you want to make more progress, that you want a solid victory‚ that you believe He can totally deliver you from some of these things. Why are you surprised that the Enemy is coming in like a flood? You say it makes you not want to pray such things. Well, that's understandable in a way. If you can't stand the heat, stay out of kitchen! If you aren't willing to pay the price and go all the way, don't start the building. What's the verse about counting the cost and making sure you're going to finish what you start? (Luke 14:28). If you go, go all the way!

151. I hope this little talk helped you to see that you shouldn't be so surprised by the barrage of battles you've been having recently, and now this added factor of your back not doing so great. If you're doing it right, the Devil will fight! He's fighting you! He's fighting you! Are you going to just sit there like a bump on a log and let him beat the crap out of you while you whine away? Get up and fight! So you're down and not even standing any more? Give him a swift kick right where it hurts! Show a little "umph" if you want to triumph. You can do it!

152. "Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty‚ dominion and power, both now and ever" (Jude 24-25). Amen? Amen! I love you! Keep fighting! (End of message from Dad.)

The Value of Taking Breaks

153. (Mama:) One of our staff members received this during their daily personal time with the Lord, asking Him about their day.

154. (Jesus speaking:) As you put your hand in My hand today, even though this day looks like it will be long, with lots of hard work to do, I can make it go more easily for you. I can help it to flow, to go at My speed, and I will help you to accomplish that which is needful. Things have been very busy for you lately, and it was good that you stopped to take a break last night. I was pleased that you not only took your Word time and time with Me, but that you also stopped in the evening to go for a walk with someone and watch a movie.

155. Even though there's so much to do, you can't do it in your own strength or in your own flesh. Stopping for breaks acknowledges that it has to be Me—that you can't do it by working harder in the flesh. You're acknowledging that the best way is to do things in My strength at My speed—and that means obeying My laws for loving life, and taking time to rest, to spend time with Me, and to spend time with others.

156. Otherwise, working through your usual times of rest or relaxation can become a works trip, and without realizing it‚ you can become more dull in the spirit‚ proud, self-righteous‚ and going in the arm of the flesh instead of in My strength. So stopping to take breaks is not only good for your peace of mind and stamina to keep going, but it also helps remind you that it has to be Me anyway doing the work; it manifests an attitude of faith and trust in Me and in My plan and timetable.

157. That's not to say that there's never a time when it's necessary to work instead of taking your usual time off, but it shouldn't become a habit. Otherwise it tends to start moving in the direction of working in your own strength rather than trusting that I am the One in control, and the One Who must do the work through you. (End of message from Jesus)

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