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What is greater than wisdom? Greater than this most sparkling of jewels? We search and search and cannot find the center of peace; the eye of the storm, the tranquility of midnight. What is the foundation of peace but wisdom? How can the first be found without the second? For without wisdom, we shall create our own nightmares, devastations, and earthquakes.

But with the wisdom of faith – faith in the salvation of God – we can walk on water in the midst of a hurricane, and know no fear.

Wisdom whispers of God’s delivering hand. It speaks by the Spirit of Comfort and Compassion. It knows the boundaries of man, and the boundlessness of the I Am. Wisdom is the fruit of experience. Wisdom is the Words of an Almighty Father, rained down upon unworthy sons and daughters.

Know wisdom. And by wisdom, walk in the footsteps of God.

There is torment in the worldly life. There are nights of tossing and turning. There are onslaughts from the enemy; spirits of torment sent to break us down. We cry and we sob. We scream and we yell. We hurt and we ache.  We’re crippled by pain.

But we shall stand. We shall proclaim the Word of the Lord and the Word shall not return to us unfulfilled:

  • No weapon formed against us shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17)
  • We shall not be afraid of the terrors of night nor the attacks of day (Psalms 91:5)
  • No evil shall befall us nor pestilence come near our home (Psalm 91:10)
  • All things work together for our good (Romans 8:28)
  • God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7)
  • God is with us, He will strengthen us, and uphold us in His righteous hand (Isaiah 41:10)
  • We will enter into peace and rest in our beds (Isaiah 57:2)
  • God will guide us continually and satisfy our souls in drought (Isaiah 59:11)

These are the covenant promises of God. He can no more break His covenant than He can cease to exist. But we must remember that a covenant is a two sided agreement.  We must remember our end of the agreement (to submit to the Word of God) in order for God to fulfill His. For the Word also warns:

Isaiah 59:2 ( NKJV )    But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.

If we honor the covenant, the covenant promises are ours.

When the ground trembles,
And fear grips our heart,
When the earth is troubled,
By tsunamis and earthquakes,

When the children cry,
And few are comforted,
When the women weep,
And nobody hears them,

When the debts pile up,
And the bills go unpaid,
When the IRS calls,
With those taxes we hate,

When disease eats our bones,
And sickness fills our souls,
When the stomach rejects food,
And the heart’s lost all tune,

When temptations beckon,
And weakness surrounds us,
When images and magazines,
Tell us what to believe,

When families break,
And marriages fail,
When youth run away,
To sell drugs in the streets,

When the past arises,
And binds us with chains,
When the future seems bleak,
With promises of pain,

When hope seems so frail,
And the Word, so pointless,
When dreams don’t avail,
And God seems so distanced,

Will we pray nonetheless,
Though life seems so broken?

Will we sing all God’s praise,
Even when He hasn’t spoken?

Will we dance to His name,
As tears streak our face?

Will we hold on to the promises,
When we don’t see manifestation?

Yes.
We.
Will.

We will stand on the Word.
We will worship the Lord.
We will pray by the Spirit

Because if one thing is truth,
If there’s one thing that’s real,
It’s that children of God,
Are never forsaken.

1 O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongs—
O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth!
2 Rise up, O Judge of the earth;
Render punishment to the proud.
3 LORD, how long will the wicked,
How long will the wicked triumph?
(Psalm 94:1-3, New King James Version)

What is the cost of vengeance? Is it the death of your enemies? Oh, child. Would you like me to strike down every man who has offended your eyes, stepped on your foot? What of those who have betrayed you? Hurt you? Abused you? What is the cost of their vengeance?

Day and night, my children cry out for vengeance. They know I am righteous. I am judge of good and evil. Nothing escapes my eyes. Yes, vengeance is mine. Indeed, I will repay. I will repay death as sin’s consequence. Death–the price of true offense.

Who shall die? If I should exact vengeance on all who deserve, then who shall die? All those that have sinned against you, beloved child of mine. All those who have maliciously used you. All those who have stolen, lied, and wounded you. These shall die. These shall suffer. These deserve hell’s fire.

For is not death and eternal damnation the weight of sin?

Who, then, can be saved? Who will survive the fire of my wrath? If I should I answer every prayer that pleads for vengeance, then none would be saved. Oh, child. You do not know what you demand. For you, too, have offended. You, neither, will be spared my wrath.

This is not my desire. This is not my will. What you request is devastation. The vision of it fills my Soul with mourning. I cannot bring it to pass. My love will not allow it. But righteous judgment demands it.

All wrongs must be revenged.

But who can stand the heat of my vengeance? None. All shall be consumed.

Therefore, I sent my Son. On him, I unleashed the fire of my indignation. On him, I required recompense of every wrong committed against my children, by my children. Christ paid the cost of vengeance.

To reject the sacrifice of my Son is to stand before me on Judgment Day and say, “Almighty God, I have chosen to stand as my own defense. I have been wronged. I have wronged others. But I have done good. I have supported charity. I have given to the needy. I have served my country. I have loved my wife.”

And I will say, “Foolish one, because you rejected Christ‘s atonement, I find you worthy of my wrath. Every wrong you have committed against Heaven and Earth has a consequence. That consequence is death. You dare stand before the Father of the only man capable of paying this price, and say, I stand as my own defense?

“Defend then, you who knows all! You who doesn’t need Jesus Christ, explain to me why I should ignore the prayers of vengeance prayed against you? You who is pure and perfect, tighten your belt and answer me! Why should I spare you from the fires of hell that you deserve–fires from which you have rejected salvation? Answer me, you who rejects God’s grace?”

And there will be no answer, because none can be given.

So I will harden my heart against the sorrow of another lost child and say, “Guilty.”

Because, whether it be through the Son of Man, or through their own demise, in the end, vengeance must and will be paid. All wrongs will be revenged.

That is the judgment of God.

Architect–one who designs buildings, bridges; designs the blueprint and supervises the construction.

God’s our architect. He has created us to be special, unique. We have a special set of finger prints—our own individuality. Within His design for our lives are the blueprints of peace and prosperity. Everything made by Him is good. And He knows His creation, He knows us, inside and out. He knows when we’re down and disturbed. He knows what to do in every situation. All that’s required is that we submit to the capable hands of the Architect.

And as our architect, He has the power to bring His blueprints to life. But we must understand the goal of the process—to be like the Lord. God wants to create the house of our lives to be a shining replica of His glory. Isn’t that a beautiful thought? God has designed us to reflect Him. And His hands are forever busy with bringing his blueprints to life.

The hand of God means many things. One, it means to take possession of something. We must understand, God becomes jealous of any other touch that interferes with His work. Think about it, do we really want to interfere with a possessive God? It also means to bring aide to. In His hands is everything we need to take care of the house He’s designing for us. When the electric bill can’t be paid, the money is in God’s hand. When bugs infest the walls, the repellant is in God’s hand. And finally, His hand means to do a work. The Almighty wants to do a double work—He wants to work in us so that He can work through us.

Additionally, we must also understand that as God’s hands are in our lives, they are busy working, but they are also spreading. And as God spreads His hands, He is spreading us. He’s enlarging our capability for anointing, enlarging our territory, enlarging our gifts. Unfortunately, sometimes this process hurts, but the work of divine hands produce only good.

However, His hands are the only hands that produce good. Many of us are having problems because we are not submitting to the mighty hand of God. We have our hands brushing His aside. We have the world’s hands infesting every room of our house. To top it off, we fail to surrender the work over to the contractor.

Contractor–one who executes the blueprints; does the work of the written plan.

Brothers and sisters, we can’t build our own house. Why? I’ll tell you a secret. It’s because we end up putting the refrigerator where the toilet belongs. We put in a tack where we need a nail. We put a window where we need a door. And instead of stairs we put a slide—so we have a fun ride down but no way back up. No. We need an outside contractor to work on our behalves and build the house perfectly, according to perfect specifications.

And the great thing is, we don’t have to pay this contractor, he volunteered for the job. We don’t have to feed him, because he’s never hungry. We don’t have offer nap breaks, because he never sleeps. He will build us a house that God doesn’t mind dwelling in. A house where every room is pleasing to the contractor.

And the best part? His name is Jesus—and he’s a trained carpenter.

(Article inspired by Apostle Jones’ sermon, The Divine Architect)

You read the Word? How lovely. You pray? Three times a day? Really? Oh, wow. You even fasted twice last week. Impressive.

Hmm. I am highly impressed with your ability to skim words, mutter memorized phrases, and starve yourself. What did you say your name was, again? Danielle? Oh, my. And here I was thinking it was Gossiper. My mistake.

What was that? I’m being judgmental? Why do you say that?

Well, of course your Sunday attendance is extraordinary. I was simple stating that–

Yes. Yes. I know. But in the end, what does it matter how many times you go to church if you ignore every homeless man you come across?

Please, calm down. I was only pointing out that God requires more of us than Sunday worship and paying our dues through prayer and the occasional bible scripture.

I was not questioning your salvation, my sister. What? Don’t you think you’re getting a little upset? Hey! Watch the name calling! Highly unnecessary.

Look, I think this conversation is over. Clearly I have made my point.

What point? How can you ask what point? It is clear. Christianity is a life-style, not just outward motions designed to make us look good. We’re supposed to be beautiful examples of Christ inside and out.

Look here! I am not questioning your salvation, okay? I’m sure you are very beautiful. Yes, I assure you that I do have a relationship with God and–

No, I’m not questioning your relationship at all. I’m just making a point!

Why are you so blasted sensitive? Thank God I’m not like you. I actually walk this thing out, thank you very much.

What’s that?

How dare you accuse me of hypocrisy! You had better be careful who you’re talking to! I am the anointed of the most High God, and His word says not to touch His anointed. That means you better watch how you talk to me, young lady. Wouldn’t want the Lord smitin’ you with a curse…

You know what? I’m just going to pray for you. Really, really hard.

“I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:14

How many of us are eager and ready to go to the next level? The next level of joy, abundance, breakthrough, and power? We’re eager alright, but how many are ready? Both Psalm 66:8-12 and Malachi 3:1-4 speak of a trial of fire. It is a high duress situation designed to challenge us, cleanse us, and purify us—a test. We want the next level, but are we ready for it? Let’s follow the process of this testing and find out if we can pass.

God turns up the fire. Our circumstances start to get toasty. The bank account starts looking funny. The kids start acting silly. The car forgets how to work properly. The boss gets to cursing…in your face. And God tosses us right in the middle of it.

Impurities rise to the surface. When the heat turns up, let me testify, what’s in us will come out. Shall I be real? I was walking through a parking garage and this wonderful man careens around the corner in his hot-shot BMW. You know the type; special, wears their pants around their knees, thinks gold is the new color for teeth, and rap music should be so loud that China can hear it. So, (heaven forbid) he has to slow down because I’m directly in his path. He very gently rebukes me for walking in the “street,” proceeds to christen me with the name of a dog, and speeds off. Now, I’m a sanctified Christian ready for the next level. I’m not about to be moved by a sinner (hopefully) who can’t tell the difference between a street and a parking garage; a dog and a woman. So I calmly continue on my way…for the three seconds it takes my brain to process his words. Then I spin around and yell, “I know that fu[BEEP!] is not talking to me!” My friend had to pull me aside before I earned myself a Holy Ghost filled jail-sentence. Can we say, impurities rising to the surface?

Then, God scrapes off the impurities. He washes us with the blood of Jesus. And if the goldsmith continues to see impurities rising to the surface, then what will he do? Stick it right back into the fire until he can see his reflection in the metal. But here’s the key; the silver and goldsmith always know how hot the fire needs to be and how long to keep the metal heated to avoid damaging the silver. And if a silversmith know this, then we can rest assured that God knows this as well.

Now, check out the end of our psalm scriptures (psalm 66:12) and hear what God spoke to the church through Apostle Jones; “If you can pass the test, you can get the blessing. I’ve got to give you an examination, send a trial. You’re in the middle of testing. Your paper, your test, is unique to yourself. I had to put the squeeze on, up the pressure. But it’s going to be alright. I’m going to give you an anointing to destroy every yoke, lift every burden. No weapon formed against you will prosper. I’m still in control.”

Children of God, don’t give in, don’t give up.

God will turn it around.

God says; “I have to get some stuff out to put some stuff in. I’ve raised you to be a warrior priest. As I turn up the fire, as gold and silver is placed in the fire, impurities rise to the top and I scrape them off—to be remembered no more. It has to be at a place where it’s golden, where I can see my face in your reflection.”

So, brothers and sisters, know that there is an exam at every level—a mid-exam and then a final. God must know that we are ready and equipped to face the challenges that await us at the next level because there is no point sending us there if we’ll just get beat down when we get there.

So don’t hate the process. Don’t get mad at the silversmith and try to jump out the fire before it’s time. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4.

(Based off of Apostle Jones’ sermon, Approved for the Next Level)

When will this earth learn to heal?
When will the crying and anger,
Accept healing and soothing?
When will the darkness give way to the light?

We look around and see pain.
We look around and see anger.
We look around and see fighting.
We look around and see destruction.

We miss the sunlight,
Dancing off the golden rays,
Come to fight the shadows,
Of this life.

We miss the peace,
Knocking at the door,
Telling us, baby,
It’s going to be alright.

We miss the flowers,
Churning, growing, sprouting,
Bringing color after a rainy day,
Bringing life to an empty soul.

We miss the love,
A gentle breeze,
Blowing through our lives,
Touching and healing our needs.

Come on, my brothers and sisters!

Come on, and choose the sunlight,
Come on, and feel the peace,
Come on, and touch the flowers,
Come on, and bathe in true love.

God is reaching and calling,
He is yearning to relieve,
This weighing on our hearts,
This burning fire consuming our souls.

This pain is blinding,
These burdens are heavy,
This sorrow everlasting,
This toil unchanging.

God has strength for our burdens.
God has the salve for our pain.
God has the peace for our sorrow.
God has the love to cover everything.

If we can look beyond our trials and sorrow,
If we can look beyond the torment of our past,
If we can look beyond the darkness of this world,
We will find peace, love and joy in God’s hands.