The linchpins are moving

Prayer is a linchpin, the Holy Spirit told me one day. It’s not the only one; it is just one of many supernatural linchpins. Linchpins that have prevented some things in the past will start moving this year. Linchpins can also cause things. They will also begin moving this year.

As I tried to recall what linchpins were, he continued speaking.

ropeYou know what a rope is, he said. A rope is made of several cords, each cord made of several strands, and each strand made of many threads, some very fine.

If you unravel a rope, untwist the cords and strands and lay out the individual threads, the rope becomes longer. Sometimes much longer.

 

wheel-linchpingrenadeTo refresh my memory I looked up that word, linchpin. Originally it referred to a pin that ran through holes in an axle and wheel, preventing the wheel from falling off. They have been found in ancient chariots and wagons.

Some linchpins prevent things from coming together, like in a hand grenade. When the pin is pulled, two things make contact and cause an explosion.

ChurchillFDRStalinYaltaConfIn political circles, it refers to a person and their work, or to a specific event that causes another larger event in the world. During and after World War II, Allied leaders British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and USSR’s Joseph Stalin met a number of times. Historic linchpins, they are called.

The Lord went back to discussing rope. He showed me an unwound rope with one end tightly fastened. Hundreds of individual threads were stretched out in a fan-like pattern. Each thread end was attached to something different, a different linchpin. Some were people, some were events. Here are a few of those:

– Buying something from a particular store on a particular day at a particular time
– Traveling at one time rather than another
– Traveling by one route rather than another
– Taking one job rather than another
– Speaking to someone that causes behavior or actions to occur
– Publishing an article in one of various venues, print, television, radio, internet, etc.
– Reading that article and then doing something because of it
– Meeting certain people, sharing and learning specific information
– Being in a certain place and time that acts as a catalyst
– A weather event that causes delays or cancellations
– A solar event that disrupts electronic communications, resulting in faulty or erroneous messages, or missed data, such as spy satellites, communication networks or weather satellites not receiving information and/or not transmitting information, which results in other things happening or not happening

He showed me many other examples, too many to list, ending with the most important one of all:

Praying God’s will onto the earth.

The most critical linchpin of all is a prayer that allows God to intervene on earth, gives him permission to act in certain situations, with certain people, places and times.

Then he showed me the rope in his hand, slowly twisting the fastened end to regather the threads into cords, the cords into rope. As the rope turned, it shortened, and the linchpins began to move out of their individual places, away from whatever they were keeping together. The final results will be an event the Lord has planned.

I don’t know what that is, he didn’t tell me. Middle East warfare? Another Great Awakening? Both of those is what I’ve been feeling for months now.

No matter what it is, every linchpin is important. Praying what God says to pray is the most important one of all.

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Different attacks, different weapons

PurseGunA .22 caliber revolver shared space in my purse with wallet and checkbook in the 1970’s. (In those days I didn’t need a permit to carry it.)

I’d been a crack shot with pistol, rifle and shotgun since my early teens, having been taught by my hunter grandfather Da and uncle Mike.

The lightweight .410 shotgun I used had originally belonged to my grandmother Mimi. Since she seldom fired it, as long as Da gave me proper instruction she was happy to relinquish it to her oldest grandchild, me.

(I must admit, however, I had cried after killing that first bird and refused to go hunting with Da again. See this post about granddaddy and me. https://scfamilymemories.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/spending-time-with-granddaddy/)

In the 70’s we lived way out in the middle of the county. It was thirteen miles from the nearest city limits, I worked ten miles further on than that, and having a gun in the car seemed like a good idea at first. After a while I got uncomfortable having it around with kids in the car, though, so I gave up carrying the pistol in my purse.

A hunting knife might have been a good alternative – I’d learned how to handle and throw one of those from Uncle Mike, too and my aim wasn’t bad. But the thought of getting cut, or cutting somebody else by accident, made me lightheaded. So, no hunting knife in my purse or car, either. I did carry a ladies Swiss Army knife for years, until the airlines banned them. I stashed it away in a dresser drawer.

Army, Navy or Air Force, my military heritage goes back to 1760, years before the Revolutionary War. Weapons for personal protection never made me nervous, as long as I was proficient and wise in their use, maintaining a good sense of legal and illegal, right and wrong. Good common sense, too.

Along the way I began to learn that Christians are targets for an all-too real enemy, a spiritual one. I began to learn about the Holy Spirit, the power of God, and the spiritual weapons available to believers. Some of those weapons are familiar: Prayer. Whole armor. Word of God. Blood of Christ.

But some others that you might not recognize as weapons, actually are. Worship. Forgiveness. Humility. Boldness. Patience. Peace. Authority. Discerning of Spirits. Gift of Faith. Miracles. Healing. Commands. The name of Jesus.

I learned that the enemy doesn’t always come at you overtly, with in-your-face attacks. Some of his attacks are subtle: Worry. Fear. Doubt. Self-pity. Pride. Temper tantrums. Boredom. Bad mood. Criticism. Gossip. Ridicule. Personality conflicts. Resentment. Offense.

Unpleasant or unseemly thoughts may seem to pop into your mind randomly. (Just remember this – “You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep it from making a nest in your hair.”)

And some accidents, actually aren’t. Like tripping over a child’s toy. Stumbling over broken concrete. Falling off a skateboard and breaking your arm. Losing your keys. Getting overdrawn at the bank because someone else’s check bounced. Missing critical appointments because of traffic jams. Becoming stressed out because another guy didn’t show up for work and you have to do their job and your own.

Some of those things aren’t attacks of the enemy, they’re just the way things are in a fallen world. But some of them are. They are designed to hinder you, steal your faith, stunt your growth, and wreck your testimony. They are aimed at keeping you from doing and being what you should. Sometimes they are designed to kill you.

  • On my way to work one morning, I was driving down a straight stretch of county road and about to pass a long driveway leading to a house way off the road. Down that lane another car was speeding towards me. Too late I realized that he wasn’t slowing down, that I couldn’t prevent us from colliding no matter whether I stomped on the brake or the accelerator. My heart was pounding as I braced myself and cried out, Jesus!

Instantly my car was a quarter mile further down the road! Glancing in the rear-view window, I saw the other car just turning onto the pavement behind me.

What had happened?

  • A woman attacked me in my office parking lot one day, shrieking and pounding on the back of my head for all she was worth. Why? Because I had called for a taxi instead of offering to drive her in my own car where she wanted to go. When I jerked around, what I saw in her face didn’t look human. I commanded her to Stop that! and Sit down! She backed up and sat down on the steps to the office building.

Someone called out, What’s going on, and I turned my head to answer them. In a flash she was back up, pounding on my head again. Once again I commanded her to Stop it! Once again she stopped, and this time took off running down the city street, high heels and all. When the taxi arrived I pointed the driver in her direction and he left to try to find her.

What had happened?

  • For several years I served on South Carolina’s State Board of Education, attending two-day meetings in the state capital once a month. Returning home on I-20 late one afternoon, I was traveling in heavy, fairly high-speed traffic when still many miles from home my car began to slow down on its own. I switched over to the slow lane as other drivers honked their horns at me. The car had plenty of fuel, the gas pedal wasn’t stuck, the engine light wasn’t on, and the heat gauge read normal. Trash in the fuel line? I was puzzled, to say the least.

Still slower and slower we went, until 35 miles per hour is the fastest the car would go. With a nervous eye on the traffic, I switched on the flashers and eased the car over into the emergency lane. Where was the nearest interchange, I wondered, and how long will it take me to get there? Will the car keep going till we get there?

Thankfully it was only a couple of miles and there was a service station there. Good, I thought, maybe somebody in there can help me. But while the clerks were all sympathetic, nobody was a mechanic. I phoned home and explained the situation. I would try to drive the car home using the emergency lane on the interstate the whole way.

Pleading the blood of Jesus, thanking the Lord for his protection and visualizing angels surrounding my car, that’s what I did. I sang praise and worship songs every slow mile of the way, arriving very late but safe and sound.

When my own mechanic took a look the next day, he just shook his head in amazement. This car shouldn’t have kept going, he said, it should have stopped dead in its tracks. The catalytic converter was completely clogged up. He traded the faulty part for a brand-new one, the car returned to its normal operating condition, and I gratefully paid his bill.

What had happened?

  • Although blind, my husband Tim Cox had graduated from Francis Marion University with a degree in business administration. He was president of our company and quite good at what he did, serving as salesman, P.R. rep and sometime trouble-shooter. But being blind did cause a problem when one friendly, plausible sales rep persuaded Tim to purchase at much-reduced rates a quantity of goods for our company. When I met the man and looked in his eyes, I immediately recognized a “wrong spirit.” But Tim didn’t. He thought the guy was fine and the deal would be beneficial to both parties, so he had our bookkeeper cut the check.

There were no goods forthcoming, however. The fellow was a con man. At first Tim thought we should just write off the financial loss, chalk it up to a hard lesson learned: discerning of spirits is absolutely necessary for a Christian running a business. But after we prayed about it, Tim began the lengthy process of filing a legal complaint, for the authorities to find and arrest the man, and for us to recover the money.

Eventually that did happen. That’s when we discovered the con man had defrauded many others in our area. Most were women, some of whom were embarrassed or humiliated to have been deceived and cheated like this. One had spent her savings to have a new roof put on her house; the workers never arrived.

Another was a widow who paid for the beautiful diamond ring her husband had ordered before his death (so the fellow told her). Of course, the ring never arrived either. Without Tim’s follow-through with the legal system, they would never have recovered their goods either.

If you’re a believer, you’re a target. You’re also an overcomer! That’s not automatic, though. It takes learning about the spiritual war we’re in, how to recognize the enemy’s devices, and how to make use of the efficient, unfailing weapons at our disposal.

Here are a few reminders:

  • Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44 NASB)
  • The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)
  • So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. (II Cor. 2:11)
  • And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (II Cor. 11:14)
  • For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. (II Cor. 10:4)
  • Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Eph. 5:17)
  • Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. (Eph. 6:11-13) … and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph. 6:17)
  • But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (Heb. 5:14)
  • Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8)
  • Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
  • Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (I John 4:4 KJV)
  • And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. (Rev. 12:11)

Warfare and weapons

SwordCutlassPirateWe are in a war today whether we know it or not. We have an enemy. He’s not flesh and blood but he stirs up people who are, to oppose God and His followers more viciously today than ever before. I was thinking and praying about that today. Here’s a bit of my train of thought…

Eph. 6:12: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].” The word for wrestle occurs in only this one place in the New Testament. It depicts a wrestling match where the winner pins his opponent, keeping him down and unable to continue fighting. Not dead, but defeated.

How can we defend against and defeat this enemy? Not with physical, human weapons. We have to use the weapons God designed and gave us, train with them and become proficient with their use.

II Cor. 10:3-6: The weapons of our warfare are not carnal (merely human) but spiritual, powerful enough to defeat anything that opposes God.

Eph. 6:10-17: Our spiritual armor includes a sword, the Word (rhema) of God. (Rhema is like an “instant message” from God, a message from Him to us that is appropriate to the occasion.) This Word is an offensive weapon against the enemy. Spoken. Verbalized.

I Cor. 12:4-11: The Gifts of the Holy Spirit include words (logos) from God, knowledge (information) and wisdom (how to use the information). (Logos = doctrine, instructional speech, sermon or scripture.) These words, like all the Gifts, are also appropriate to the occasion.

Matt. 10:19-20 and Mark 13:11: When being persecuted (arrested, harrassed, attacked) for your faith, don’t pre-plan what to say; the Holy Spirit will speak through you at that point in time. (Speak – say something, tell someone something.)

Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” The definition of word here is similar to that of logos in the New Testament. Heart means the center of your being, your soul, will, desires.

Matt. 12:34 and Luke 6:45: Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (The word for heart is kardia; similar to the Old Testament word, it means center of your being, your soul, will.) If it’s not in your heart, the Word of God — your spiritual weapon — won’t be readily available for you to use against the enemy.

Joshua 1:8: This book of the law (God’s Word) shall not depart out of your mouth… meditate on it day and night… observe to do it, and you will make your way prosperous and have good success. (Meditate means muse, imagine, mutter aloud.)

God’s Word, logos and rhema, are powerful weapons against the devil, the enemy whose goal in life in to steal, kill and destroy us. (John 10:10)

If God’s Word is in our heart, in our mouth and in our actions (obedience), we will succeed in whatever God has assigned us to do.

Dream warnings, revisited

I had another dream about war last night. This time, the war was coming to our own city of Florence.

I was with several other people, serving as watchmen in a tall building overlooking what may have been East Palmetto Street. Down below us, the street was completely closed to all incoming traffic.

What was blocking it? Huge broken-up strips and chunks of pavement. The street had been deliberately demolished by chopping wide, long and deep holes into it.

No vehicle could drive more than a few feet before encountering a large hole, or pile of debris.


Off to the side in the near distance I could see trucks moving – pickup trucks, dump trucks and flatbeds, old and new.

They were carrying huge squares of concrete and chucks of metal that would be used to close off the side streets. Anyone who got through our blockades would have to be on foot.

Something – or someone – was coming to fight against us right here in Florence, but we weren’t fleeing. We were barricading the main highways into town. We were planning to make a stand.

That’s when I awoke, not frightened, just aware. The battle has already started in the spirit world, the battle for the hearts and souls of freedom-loving Americans. Apathy. Distractions. Economics. Troubles of many kinds. “Don’t worry, be happy.” Or maybe, “Don’t pray, be happy”?

Some people think praying is for sissies, or that it doesn’t do any good. I’m not one of those. But how to pray for our country in the days ahead, that is the question.

Mercy, Father, please have mercy on us! America’s utmost need is God’s Mercy.

War is planned.

War is planned.

I was thinking about all the wars and rumors of wars in the news the other day. Then as I listened to Christmas carols and thought about the Bethlehem story, the Lord began talking to me.

Men speak peace but they plan war.

Don’t pray for world peace. The angels at Bethlehem didn’t declare peace on earth – they declared peace on earth to men of good will – i.e., men of God’s choosing.

Peace happens in pockets. As one individual at a time is offered terms of peace, he himself must accept those terms, must declare peace between himself and God. As the evidence and benefits of the obtained peace become obvious to others, they may seek peace with God also. On God’s terms, of course, not theirs.

The problem isn’t that God declared war on mankind. Mankind’s beautiful false friend planned war the moment Adam was created. Satan planned it, declared it, and conscripted humans into his ranks to wage it. But he cannot win; God is too skilled a warrior to lose this battle.

Winning the war isn’t the enemy’s only goal, however. It’s his ultimate goal, perhaps, but in the interim corrupting humanity will do, one man at a time. Weaken his faith, strengthen his doubt, neutralize his fighting ability and there’s one less warrior to worry about.

Oh yes, war is planned. It’s a major occupation of the tempter to plan it and plant it in the minds of susceptible human beings.

Whether in little skirmishes or horrific battles, men attempt to gain something by other than honorable means. What is it they want? Control. Power and authority. Godship of themselves and others.

A primary temptation from the beginning of time, this is the first of the ten commandments. Have no other gods before me, the Lord said. Being your own god, making your own rules, ruling your own life and that of other people is so attractive! That’s why war will exist for at least a thousand more years.

Daniel learned about warfare from the angel Gabriel, and he wrote about battles between nations that would happen far into the future from his own time.

He also learned about battles raging even then, fierce enough to delay delivery of a message from an angel (Daniel 10:12-13). The book of Daniel offers fascinating insights into what goes on around us unseen to the human eye, yet affecting us both personally and politically.

So, rather than praying the usual generic, seasonal prayer for world peace, let’s pray for peace between God and individuals; that kind is actually possible.