INTIMACY WITH GOD JOURNAL
In This Issue:
Opening – Fruit in September.
Whining or Winning? - The wildness of God.
Praise Report by guest writer, Mary Cozad - Breathe In. Breathe Out.
*Linda’s new book is here! Words Aptly Spoken, which is about our ministry’s prophetic prayer journey to Iowa’s county courthouses promises to greatly bless you!
Mike & Linda Schreurs
How often do we pray for the Lord to touch our hands, our foreheads and our mouths with His power? It might do us well to begin to do so. We could see our lives dramatically changed!
I was pondering Exodus 13:9, being reminded how I’d highlighted it some time ago because it spoke volumes to me. Perhaps the Lord would have me share the reason why. It says, “And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt.”
September is the ninth month. Nine represents ‘fruit’ as in the fruit of the womb and how it takes nine months to birth a baby. There are nine fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Lord would have us know at this particular moment in time, that He is still the same Lord as He was with Moses, as He was with Elijah or Elisha. He’s the same Lord whom Paul met dramatically on the road to Damascus as he was forever changed.
Our Almighty, Everlasting God, who did such astounding signs and wonders in the Bible, has not changed one iota. But we have. Many seem to have lost faith in that the Lord can still mark His own children in special ways making them entirely distinct from all the peoples of the earth – just as He did the Hebrew children in Exodus! He can mark or anoint our hands so we can carry His love everywhere we go and do His will without wavering. He can mark our minds (foreheads) so we are not diluted with worldly doubts and fears. He can mark our mouths so we can speak holy things confessing unashamedly that Jesus is Lord of all!
Promised Land fruit is just beyond the ridge of complete surrender to the Lord, through praise, worship and adoration. Therefore, watch September! Watch the abundance of holy fruit come upon your life!
WHINING OR WINNING?
Years ago, when I was first coming to know and walk with the Lord, my spiritual mentor, Ruth Ann Polston, had a women’s Bible Study called Winning Women. It was very powerful and women from various denominations came from all over the region. Of course, we all tried to live up to that title – and not whine! Each week we learned more and more about living a truly victorious lifestyle in the Lord by walking out principles of the Bible she would teach us. I need a review from time to time!
When one does not feel very well in body, soul or spirit, it’s good to remember whining gets us nowhere. What do our litanies consist of? Are they filled with good, or the bad and ugly? What are people hearing from our mouths? Are we tiring them with our negatives, or encouraging them with our positive confessions?
Study the Hebrew children in the Old Testament and it’s a case history on how whining results in loses. Personally, my desert times drive me into the arms of the Lord! It makes me even more ferocious to know Him intimately, above and beyond anything I’ve previously known. I’ve learned to dig deeper in those times with amazing new insights, revelations and strength I didn’t know I had. Do you want the gory or the glory? Do you want the whining or the winning? I’m sure you’d prefer the latter. It’s much more refreshing to your soul and to those in your sphere of influence.
Do I rise above the fray? Most times, yes. But sometimes I have to fight ‘tooth and nail’ for it. Victories come by way of confession with our mouth. Joel 3:10c says, “Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’” Therefore it’s a fact that what we say is what we get! Life and death are in the power of the tongue. (Pvb. 18:21) Let’s realize in all the adversities of life, you and I have been chosen to be more than conquerors! (Rom. 8:37)
I like the ‘more than’ part! What does that look like? What can be MORE than being a conqueror of sin, sickness, doubt, depression, anxiety, fear, weaknesses, etc.? Could it be that in those times we can actually be taken into a realm of glory we might not otherwise have known? Take note of Stephen in Acts 7, as he’s being stoned to death, he sees the heavens being opened. It says He saw the glory of God! Is that not astounding, that in the midst of brutality and pain, he could experience such depth of God’s Divine Presence and power?
Do you desire this? I would think so. I do. And it’s attainable. It a tried and true fact of life that loving, serving, and following the Lord God, even in the midst of horrendous heartache or sorrow, has its divine rewards. Jesus endured so much for us so that we would not lose heart and actually be able to live a winning lifestyle. “…Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.” (Heb. 12:2-3) Do as He did.
A whiner is a person who’s lost their focus. But if our eyes are fixed on Jesus, we can’t help but praise Him in the midst of fiery trials. O for the joy set before us! We can be just like our Lord. He won big time! And so can we.
Wild and winning
In these trying times, let us live according to God’s sovereign plan for us to be more than conquerors. More than simply means receiving more than normal rewards, normal provision, normal health. It goes above and beyond, well, the norms! It goes above our wildest expectations and our own imaginations. (Eph. 3:20) It’s wild that Moses lived to be 120 and scripture says his vitality was not abated. It’s wild that food fell from heaven. It’s wild that Jesus fed 5,000 people with a few morsels of food. It’s wild that a sea parts in half. It’s wild that an apostle walks on water. Its wild, Jesus turns water into wine. It’s wild that in the End Times, water will flow from the Throne of God providing miraculous food and healing. (Ezek. 47)
Many wild things are recorded for all of mankind to grasp hold of and hold near and dear to their hearts, knowing full well, God can do ‘more than,’ humanity’s capability! “Looking upon them, Jesus said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.’” (Mark 10:27)
During this fruitful month of September, it’s an opportune time to declare and decree the wildness of God to come forth in your life. Whatever it is you need right now, begin to call forth the wildness of God!
Graduate into winning
This month, may the fruit of our lives be such that we have graduated into the winning mode. God’s Divine Breath declares in Isaiah 40:29-31: “He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”
I don’t know about you, but at times, I’ve grown very weary of life’s battles. But let us be encouraged with these proclamations from our Most High God and run with them! He gives us profound words of victory for our lives. We are being positioned into the winning mode so we can show the world the wildness of God right now, right where we live.
Everything is shifting. Everything is changing. Everything is being positioned for the greatest move of God mankind has ever known! All the earth is about to see the divine spectacle of our Lord as He readies His Bride at the End of the Age. He reigns!
By Mary Cozad
(Writing of her husband’s on-going physical battles)
I am struggling with words, as I am all but speechless. But I need to let you know about this miracle.
Tuesday was Gary's surgery. He was more afraid than I have ever seen him. He had difficulty letting me go, and looked like he wanted to jump off the cart, but was frozen. His hand did not want to let go. His eyes were frightened. It was real. It was chilling. My calm went to fear, and then with prayer the fear left. The day was one of "breathing in and breathing out". Intercession and letting go. In and out.
I could feel the warfare and then was peaceful. All day. In and out. Picking it up and letting it go. Breathing in and out.
When his surgeon talked to me, he said he didn't believe he would get Gary off the table. He required 8 units of blood due to the great amount of blood lost very quickly. He said his blood pressure was so low, they desperately were trying to pump the blood in, but lost it as quickly. He did not believe they could stabilize him. He said they tried everything to stop the blood, but could not. But somehow, he lived.
He was put on a respirator and I was told this most likely would be his last surgery. They had wanted to remove 3 more vertebrae and could not. It is becoming too dangerous. Gary looked like a marshmallow, white and puffy and eyes swollen shut. They said the swelling could cut off his air supply and since the surgery was done on his stomach, the swelling could take 2 days to go down.
The next morning, the swelling was all gone. The last hours in Surgical Intensive Care, he was sitting up and reading a paper in a chair and I was the one in bed. It was clear they had to get us out of there but it took time waiting for a bed to open up. Everyone around us was on respirators. It looked like someone had put us in the wrong room.
Gary had been told to expect eight days in the hospital. This man who was on a respirator yesterday is home tonight. Yes, I mean yesterday on life support, and tonight he is asleep in his own bed. We were told he was doing so well, the insurance would not pay for him to stay one more night and we had to go.
I am trying to drink this in. It is hard to understand and it seems medically improbable, or may I say impossible?! All I know is the Lord has carried him through, has protected him, and has shielded him.
I stand in awe, again. Amazed, again. Nine surgeries, nine miracles. Fifteen years of renal cell cancer, and most recently prostrate cancer. Six radiations. Gary has made cancer in his lungs, pancreas, along his spine, bones, and kidney, plus the prostate cancer – “look easy." But I can tell you, it has not been. Without the Lord, we, neither one of us, would have survived. It has been God's grace and mercy and strength alone that make every day possible. He has taught us to focus on the now, and Him.
So today, I sit in silence. Feeling His presence. Breathing in and breathing out. Interceding and letting go. Trusting in Him. Picking it up. Letting it go. Knowing He is there. Knowing He is near. Knowing He is holding us and protecting us. Breathing in and breathing out. Teaching us. Showing us. Directing us.
Thanks you for your prayers and support. God was there, is here now, and will be with us tomorrow.
Love, Mary Cozad
(Gary and Mary Cozad attend Lutheran Church of Hope in Des Moines, Iowa)