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M10I Jehovah Sabaoth: Lord of hosts Leads the Way

The mature bride  is at the performing stage of teamwork with Jehovah Sabaoth

The children of Israel had come through the first three stages, forming (in Eyypt), storming (in the desert wilderness), norming (at the crossing of the Jordan), and are now at the threshold of taking possession of the land where it is imperative that they perform. Fear kept their ancestors out, but now, with Joshua’s leadership, they believed it would happen. But how? Would it be in their own strength or that of Jehovah Sabaoth [Lord of hosts].

After crossing the Jordan, their conquest started with the shedding of blood—by the circumcision of all males of the new generation. They also celebrated Passover, where the blood of the Lamb was swiped over their doorposts before leaving bondage in Egypt, all pointing to the blood of Jesus shed for them. On that special day when they stopped to worship and renew their covenant with God—putting first things first—the manna stopped as they ate of the produce of the land (see Joshua 5:11).

Their conquest continued as they neared Jericho surrounded with high stone walls. Joshua saw a man with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua did not know who he was because he said,

“Are you for us or for our enemies?”

“Neither,” he replied, but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”

The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.—Joshua 5:14-15

The commander of the army of the Lord, responded to the obedience of the people and received divine adoration from Joshua, telling him he was on holy ground, and now it was like He was saying, “I will take it from here. I will bring down those walls.”

The Ark of the Covenant the priests carried across the Jordan, led the way. In fact, it was the Lord of hosts who brought them over Jordan and who will do the same for us.

Jehovah Sabaoth Lord hosts service

How do we know it is Jehovah Sabaoth who leads the way?

After David became king, he wanted the Ark of the Covenant moved to Jerusalem where it belonged. The ark was a chest overlaid with gold with two gold cherubim on the top “atonement” cover where blood of sacrificial animals was sprinkled. The blood symbolized God’s forgiveness of sin—pointing to Jesus the Lamb of God. It was carried through the wilderness by the priests and later captured by the Philistines. David gathered thirty thousand men to bring the ark back. Samuel, now a grown man and a prophet of God, records that the ark was “called by the Name, the very name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim” (2 Sam. 6:2 NASB).

The ark represented the presence of the Lord; everywhere it went the people prospered. Hebrews tells us that the temple, the Holy of Holies, all sacred items dedicated for worship, including the Ark of the Covenant, are copies of heavenly things.

For Christ did not enter a man made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own . . . Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.—Hebrews 9:24-28 (emphasis mine)

Jesus entered the Most Holy Place and sprinkled his very own blood on the ark as our High Priest and sat down at the right hand of the Father. He stepped in first, just as the Israelite priests did who carried that ark across Jordan. He is stepping in now and going before us just as He did for the children of Israel. It is His responsibility and His battle to bring us into the land, ours to follow and obey, to believe and expect the walls to come down.

Let Jehovah Sabaoth lead the way

joy with Jehovah Sabaoth

If it is Jehovah Sabaoth’s responsibility to get us in the land and help us possess it, why did not the first generation get across? We remind ourselves it was because their hearts melted with discouragement from their brothers about the giants in the land. The devil’s purpose, as accuser of the brethren, is to steal our joy, thus, our energy needed to put faith into action. It is the joy of the Lord that is our strength (see Neh. 8:10 NASB). Without joy all resolve to fight is gone.

We may be the head goose, shielding the way for others, strength drained, feeling like we cannot flap those wings one more minute. But, we know we cannot let up in this sacred service of the Lord. It is so important and the weight of the whole world may seem to be on our shoulders, yet, the only way we will enter the land is to fall back and allow another to take the lead—Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of hosts.

When we do, it is like His hand moves into our glove and he works where we do not have to work; we see His hand at work all around us, signs and wonders we never saw before. He anoints our obedience; He uses our availability, not any ability we thought we may have had in the first place. And we discover our availability means we needed to be toughened by hardship in the wilderness in order to endure the battles we face in following Him, yet there is no obstacle we cannot overcome because He is our guide. We find the only easy day was yesterday as we enter unmapped territory. When we position ourselves so we can see the Lord of hosts, and get our eyes fixed on Him alone—nothing between—He imparts His intelligence and we have His mind through His Word more than we ever dreamed possible.

The Lord of hosts told Joshua to keep His Word, to do according to all the law and commandments and to not allow the Word to depart from his lips (see Joshua 1:7-8). One soldier, even Joshua, cannot fight a whole battle on his own; he must be able to trust his comrades, and he must be trustworthy. Our fight is not with flesh and blood as in the Old Testament, but with powers and evil forces of this present darkness. The only way we can fight them is to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Eph. 6:10 NASB), and by putting on His armor and wielding the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (see Eph. 6:16-17).

Jehovah Sabaoth [Lord of hosts] undergirds us by the wind of His Spirit

Jehovah Sabaoth leads the way

The mature military bride knows it will take the whole army to complete the mission of the Lord of hosts. Therefore, her battle is to trust Him to bring down the walls between individuals who make up all denominations in Christ’s body—the Church.

It is His orchestra, and He has given each of us in His service a trumpet—our mouth of praise speaking forth His Word—along with other instruments He has gifted us with. He knows who will fill each seat, what part they will play—and when. He has worked the impossible in transforming us from a lone eagle separated for private lessons to a member of the large team of geese. Unity will come when each has his or her eyes on the Conductor—and Him alone. He will bring that unity through our availability and beautiful music will result. What a grand concert it will be!

 Thy words were found and I ate them, And thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts.  Jeremiah 15:16 NASB

M4A God is Peace – Jehovah Shalom

Six years after accepting the Lord as her Savior, Kim Crowe, now thirty-six years of age found peace. She joined a church that had a Bible-teaching and believing pastor. Women of the church decided to organize their own retreat, feeling they could minister to each other as well as someone from outside. As part of the retreat, they decided to wash each other’s feet and serve communion. As long as they could show it was biblical, the pastor supported them.

Would Kim Ever Find Peace?

Peace is all Kim ever wanted. Because of the occult influence, Kim had been bombarded by evil spirits, sometimes on an hourly basis. She never had peace - until the day ...

Chanté J. and her mother taught from Scripture, and then, they prayed for the others. Standing on her tip toes to look in Kim’s eyes, Chanté put her hands on Kim’s shoulders saying, “No, you have to be last.”

Chanté and her mother prayed for the other women who received tremendous emotional and spiritual healing. Kim thought, How wonderful! What’s going to happen when they come to me?

Finally, Kim fell to her knees, and while looking up for one hour, her mind flashed back over her whole fear-filled life, as the two Godly women prayed in spiritual authority over her. The only thing Kim knew as a child was the occult. Her home was filled with spirit cables, Quija boards, tarot cards, horoscopes-all kinds of things the Bible calls an abomination against the Lord. Her mother taught her, “Jesus is a lie and the things of Satan are real. Christianity is just a religion-nothing more.”

At nine years of age, Kim was raped by an uncle; in her twenties, she was still afraid to go anywhere alone. Her mother forced her to join the Army in an effort to get her out of the house. While there, she deliberately became pregnant so she could have a child to love her.

After the Army, Kim met Terri, a girl who had been raised by foster parents, because her birth parents mistreated her. Although Terri had gone to church with them, she had not accepted Jesus, but she could “talk Bible.” The two smoked marijuana together, while reading the book of Revelation, scaring them silly.

If it had not been for two cousins who witnessed to Kim, she did not know where she would be right now. At first, she could not accept what they told her: First, there was a Creator who loved her. Second, there was a Savior who died for her. Last, He was the only way to heaven.

The Lord is Peace

Kim’s mom said, “It is all as true as you want it to be. There is no truth.” Although Terri’s own spiritual beliefs were not solidified, Terri convinced Kim to read the Bible and decide for herself what she believed.

Kim decided to send her seven-year-old daughter to church. Kim decided to go with her, just to make sure she was being taught the right things. Even before this decision, Kim felt God working in her life. She snorted speed daily, but woke up one morning and said, “I don’t want this anymore.”

Giving up drugs was harder. Terri told her, “The Bible doesn’t say you can’t smoke dope, so it’s okay.” Kim knew better. To her, it was the same as getting drunk. This revelation did not come to her until two weeks after she accepted Jesus.

Before Easter of 1984, the movie Jesus of Nazareth was on television. Kim watched it on a Friday night, then again on Saturday. There was a point where Jesus turned his head and looked straight into her eyes and said, “Now is the time. You have to make a choice.”

Kim later watched the movie many times, but that was not part of it.
After watching and hearing Jesus speak to her, Kim put her cigarette down, a three-pack-a-day habit, and prayed, “Lord, I don’t know if this is true. I don’t know if this is right. I don’t understand. I just cannot live any longer the way I’ve been living. I hate my life. I hate myself. I ask you to come into my life and change it.”

Immediately, she felt something she never felt before. PEACE. It was wonderful. She had heard of people who got an electric feeling or bubbled up with joy with a salvation experience, but she had what she needed–total peace.

Because of the occult influence, Kim had been bombarded by evil spirits, sometimes on an hourly basis. She had felt if she killed herself, everybody else would be better off. She had thought if she chocked herself, she would be at peace. She had felt black inside. There was no life. None. But now, there was true peace and she was alive–alive for the first time in her life.

A Small Band of Women Helped Bring Peace to Kim

peace

Chanté and her mother quoted Scripture over her as Kim recalled the Scriptures that had come to mean the most to her. In 2 Timothy 1:7 God told her that He had not given her a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Her mother thought she was crazy, but that’s not what the Bible told her. Second Timothy 3:16 said that all Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, for training in righteousness so that she would be thoroughly equipped. If I’m thoroughly equipped, then I can’t be crazy, she thought.

Romans 12:1-2 changed her life, “I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” She knew she could not do that by herself, because her mind had been damaged by drugs and verbal abuse. She prayed, “God, just take Your Word and pour it into my head.” As she read the Bible, she pictured God pouring His Word into the top of her head so the words would fill her from the feet up.

It was working, but still, when she got out of the Word, the spirits would come back. At times, she would even hear the same voices, telling her how stupid she was, and planting thoughts of suicide in her mind. There were times when she would not go to Bible study or anywhere else, telling her friends, “I can’t go today. I feel ugly.” She knew that as a Christian, Christ lived within her, but the demons continued to harass and oppress her.

Kim was still looking up when she heard Chanté’s voice saying, “And finally, we ask you Father, to help Kim be strong in the Lord in His mighty power. We pray she will put on the full armor of God so that she can take her stand against the devil’s schemes. For her struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. And right now, in the name of Jesus Christ, we command this spirit of fear to leave! You can no longer oppress and harass our sister!” (see Eph. 6:10-12).

Kim and the others who were praying with their eyes open literally saw the darkness lift. It appeared like a sheer black curtain rising from her. It had blocked out the Son, but now Light came in and expelled the darkness. Kim thought, It was just like in the books, “This Present Darkness” and “Piercing the Darkness.” Wow, they’re gone. I actually saw them leave!

This battle was won by a small band of women who believed God’s Word, and dared to use “the name of Jesus.” They believed God could bring victory, allowing Him to do His work through them. It did not take an army to help Kim find peace, just two or more believers with fully committed hearts, like Joshua and Caleb, obedient to fight in intercessory prayer.

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Purple trees with text overlay: how Kim found peace from the occult