Are You in the Wilderness?

Teresa Poucher

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:1-4)

  A wilderness is a barren place where one feels alone.   It seems there is nothing around to sustain or help you.  Can you relate to that? 

  Jesus knew what it was to be in the wilderness.  Note, He was led to this uninhabited land.  We may not always like where the Lord is leading us.  He had fasted 40 days. Surely, He was hungry, as well as weak.  ‘Seems the enemy likes to kick you while you’re down and out. 


When Satan went to Him and said, “Make these stones bread,”Jesus didn’t use his creative power. Jesus equates bread (the main staple of the time) to the Word of God. He spoke and said, ”It is written.”
I’m so glad he used something that we have readily available to us. When we read the story of creation, we see ten times in Genesis 1: “…and God said.”

“…but [whosoever] shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” (Matthew 11:23)

In our wilderness, what are we going to say? Words of faith, promise, and favor?

It wasn’t until he came out of the wilderness that He performed his first earthly miracle. What is the word?

What is Salt Worth?

Teresa Poucher

That all depends on the era in which we’re living. If we look back in history, we will find our ancestors using salt thousands of years ago. It was found in salt beds, as well as in seawater.

 

  I was twelve when we lived in Hawaii.  The waves would sometimes splash water onto the jetties.  Later, it would dry, and the salt would remain.  Since the oceans cover such an expanse, I never thought of salt having much value.  Maybe you’ve heard the expression, “They aren’t worth the salt in their soup.”  

 

  In ancient times they used it to preserve and ferment food.  We still do this today.   Salt is very inexpensive, yet it has proven to be extremely valuable.  Do you sometimes feel inadequate or lacking in worth?  

 

  I remember my Mom saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Well, I like the addition, “…but you can put salt in his oats!” 

 

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” (Matthew 5:13)

 

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”(Colossians 4:6)

 

Let my words be seasoned with salt, so others will thirst for the Living Water.

 

“… whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)

  Can you put a price on a thirsty soul?   

 

So, what is your salt worth? Is it cheap or priceless?

Is He God or Not?

Teresa Poucher

I get it.  The unanswered prayer.  The broken heart, disappointments, sickness, death, loss, shattered dreams, and hopes.  We have all had our share of hurts, some more than others.

  Does it mean He doesn’t hear or care?  Not hardly. It’s not necessarily what happens to us that shakes our faith, but how we react to the situation. 

Yes, we can remind ourselves of scriptures such as when Jesus promised, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5) and when Paul assured us that “…all things work together for good…” (Romans 8:28) Yet, we still feel inadequate, and in ourselves, we are. However, there is a way to escape those feelings.

  In I Kings chapter 18, Elijah approached King Ahab.  Keep in mind there had been a drought for three years, and Jezebel had killed many of the prophets.  Elijah told Ahab to meet him at Mount Carmel.  You know the story of the 450 prophets of Baal sacrificing a bullock:  They prayed, leaped on the altar, and cut themselves, but there was no answer. 

  Then it was Elijah’s turn.  Please note, the first thing he did was to repair the altar.  Sometimes, our altar may be in disarray or damaged.  Has it been neglected?  Maybe we are going to the altar but not bringing a sacrifice.  We are telling God how wrong things are going, how weary we are.  What happened to our sacrifice of praise? 

  Elijah brought quite a sacrifice.  Not only did he supply a bullock, but he also got four barrels of water.  The brook Cherith where God told him to go had already dried up.  It was a grievous time for the people, land, and animals.

  To repair the altar, he gathered twelve stones.  They represented the twelve tribes of Israel.  Perhaps this indicates the need for unity of the people of God, for the kingdom was divided.

“…endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:3-6)

  When things are good, praise Him.  When you are in the plains, praise Him.  When nothing seems to be going right, and trouble is on every side, that is when you really need to praise Him.  Are you in a spiritual famine or a dry and thirsty land?  Praise, worship, sing, pray and read His Word.  Watch Him come to your aid.

“… How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him…. Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.” (I Kings 18:21, 38-39)

Mercy

Teresa Poucher

When I was young, many moons ago, we played a game called “Mercy.”  The game is played by two people who grasp each other’s hands with interlocked fingers. The object is to twist the opponent’s hands or fingers until the opponent gives in and cries, “Mercy.”

 

  I like studying the Ark of the Covenant.  In the wooden box covered with gold, we find the Ten Commandments. It was covered with a lid called the “mercy seat” and made of pure solid gold.  Once a year, the high priest would go into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on it.

 

Unfortunately, this just covered their sins until the following year. However, when Jesus, the Lamb of God, shed his blood on Calvary, it washed away our sins permanently:

 

“… and washed us from our sins in his own blood …” (Revelation 1:5)

 

  The commandments let me know I was a sinner.  I needed God’s mercy.  I’ve heard mercy described as “not giving me what I deserve.”  

 

“What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, if it had not been for the Law, I would not have recognized sin.” (Romans 7:7)

 

  We all need His mercy, but here’s the real kicker: We need to be merciful.  I want to go beyond forgiveness so I can be forgiven. I have no desire for my adversaries to pay for the wrong they inflicted upon me or on any of my loved ones.

 

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

 

He kept His mercy near before I asked for it; shouldn’t I do the same? Today, I no longer play mercy, but I will cry out, “Mercy!”

Are You Alone?

Teresa Poucher

I have plenty of tasks at hand, as well as a to-do list, so get out of my way!  

  It’s hard for me to slow down; I’m just a little too task-oriented.  

Sometimes, my to-do lists keep me from doing the things I need to do:  Talk to my mom, visit a friend, or just stop and breathe.

 

We have heard it said, “An idle mind is the devil’s playground.” ‘Seems to me, a busy mind is a fortress. It’s locked up so tight that we have trouble seeing or hearing what’s happening around us.

 

Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? …” (Mark 8:18)

 

  Maybe you too have made yourself busy with means of distraction from what is going on in the world today.  

 

  Several times, we see that Jesus withdrew to be alone to pray.  

 

“And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.” (Matthew 14:23)

 

“…So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.” (Nehemiah 2:6)

 

  How is one going to hear with all the disturbances?

 

“…and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.” (Mark 4:34)

 

Isn’t it time we get alone?

Floods, Fires, Cyclones, Collapse, Earthquake

Teresa Poucher

Our world has been shaken!

 

Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.” (Hebrews 12:26)

 

  Many will fall during this time, yet many will come to the Lord. I know the love of many will wax cold but let those “revival fires” burn.

 

“And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:3-4)

 

  It’s alright to let the floodwaters flow spiritually.

 

“For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.” (Isaiah 44:3)

 

  During this time of uncertainty, one thing is sure. God is still in control. I want to seek His face and cry out for His will.

 

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bands were loosed.” (Acts 16:25-26)

 

  Does it feel like your foundation has been shaken? What we were accustomed to has a different footing now. May the things that used to bind us be loosened. The doors we may have neglected or been reluctant to go through have been opened.

 

  Paul, Silas, and the prisoners had a move of God that would never be forgotten. Just in case you didn’t notice the prisoners experienced this too. It’s for whosoever will.

 

  I want to continue standing for God and His righteousness, don’t you?

Get out of your Cave

Teresa Poucher

If you’ve ever read the book Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus,* you understand about men becoming cave-dwellers at times. We ladies would rather talk about a problem to a friend; however, a man tends to retreat, much like Elijah.

 

  In I Kings, chapter 18, we find Elijah on a mountain top experience.  He has a showdown with the prophets of Baal on which God answers by fire.  Not only does fire fall from heaven and consume the sacrifice, but Elijah also slays the prophets.  In chapter 19, King Ahab goes to Jezebel, his wife, and she threatens to kill Elijah.  Now he is ready to die and hides in a cave, thinking he is the only one serving God.

 

What doest thou here, Elijah,” said God. Elijah proceeded to talk to God. In my words, he said, “I have been on fire for you. I have fought against all evil for your name’s sake. Everyone else has given up, and what do I get? They are out to kill me. I’m just going to stay in my cave until I figure this out.”

 

Can I tell you, you will never figure God out. He may speak to your heart; you may have an excellent relationship, but “…his ways are past finding out.” (Romans 11:33)

 

  God told him to go forth and stand on the mountain. (That is to say, “Get out of your cave!”) He saw the wind break the rocks, the earthquake, and the fire. Yet God didn’t move like Elijah thought He should.  He was in that still small voice.

 

  It would do us well to turn off the music, TV, and cell phone.  God is still speaking in that still small voice.  Get out of your cave.  Look, listen, seek; there might very well be three anointings waiting for you.

*Gray, J. (2009). Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. HarperCollins

How To Get A Blessing

Teresa Poucher

And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell the of…. And Abraham said unto his young men, abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” (Genesis 22:2,5)

The first time we see the word “worship” is when God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son. This would not have been unheard of to the nations that worshiped false gods. I don’t believe he told his wife where he was going with the long-awaited son. The part that takes me back is when he tells his servants, “…I and the lad will go yonder and worship…” (Genesis 22:5)

  The mount is Moriah. Solomon built God’s house on Mount Moriah, where David saw the judgment of God when he numbered Israel.  It was there he repented, sacrificed, and worshiped.

What we call “sacrifice,” Abraham called “worship.” We invite God’s Presence through our repentance, sacrifice, and worship. When our sacrifice turns to worship, we will be blessed.

“…and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies…” (Genesis 22:16-17)

Can I Get A Witness?

Teresa Poucher

Whenever there’s a crime, the police look for witnesses. They want everyone’s testimony. Detectives will interview each witness individually. Everyone saw the same incident, but each person has a different take. Someone in the medical field would focus on injuries. Someone else would describe the assailant’s weapon. Another witness might try to explain why it happened.

I was robbed many years ago at a Pizza Hut. He came in with a spiderman mask and a revolver full of lead. I was in charge, so the gun went to my head. He told everyone else to get on the floor. By the grace of God, I kept my cool and proceed to open the register, which was controlled by a computer.

 

 

  “Hurry up; it’s taking too long!” he said. I told him the computer was on manager function; it would take longer than usual.  

 

He then told me, “Open the safe!” I told him it was a time lock safe; it would take 10 minutes. I got the cash out of the drawer. He told me to put it in the bank bag, which had my deposit. I said I needed the keys to open it. Dummy, he had me put the cash in a pizza box, but left the bank bag with the deposit, told me to get on the floor, and left.

 

  We had three tables with customers.  The customers got up before I did.  It didn’t take long for the police to arrive after being called.  They interviewed each of us separately, and we each focused on something different. 

 

The police came back a week later and showed me some pics, but I didn’t recognize him. I don’t know if they ever caught him. Thank the Lord, no one was injured, but it could have ended differently. Your witness and testimony can make a difference.

 

The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalms 19:7)

 

  Three arks are mentioned in the Bible:■ Noah’s ark — saved Noah, his wife, three sons, his daughters-in-law, as well as the animals from destruction ■ Moses’ ark — saved Moses, providing a deliverer for Israel. ■ The ark of testimony – could save the whole world if we believe and obey His testimony.  The Presence of God dwelt on the mercy seat above the ark of testimony.  The rod shows us, we can be a royal priesthood, and God will make provision along our way.

 

This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.” (I John 5:6)

 

  Per Strong’s Concordance, “witness” [G3144] means: to be a witness, i.e., testify (literally or figuratively), charge, give (evidence), bear record, have (obtain, of) good (honest) report, be well reported of, testify, give (have) testimony, (be, bear, give, obtain) witness.

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:10-11)

 

Does your testimony agree with His?

The Alarm is Set

Teresa Poucher

If you have ever had an early-morning flight, I guarantee you set your alarm. Chances are, you set more than one device or asked someone in the house to set their alarm. This is one alarm you do not want to sleep through.

 

Today, I feel God has set an alarm for those who don’t know Him, as well as for those who have a relationship. ‘Seems to me, there is trouble on every side; I don’t know that I’ve ever seen so many sick and troubled people.

  

For those without a daily walk with the Lord, it’s a wake-up call. “You need me, and I want to save you.” It would serve us well to realize we are not in control. We are nothing without Him. Our very existence depends on God.

 

To the church, it’s, “I know you have faith; you believe in me, worship and praise me, but now it’s time to trust me.”

 

  We know God can, but do we trust He will?  He has given us promises, and yet our faith is weak.  We are looking at what we see and how we feel.  Isn’t it strange how we had faith when things looked like they were going as we thought they should?  Now things are in upheaval, and the very promise we were excited about has turned to doubt.  

 

If we will trust God, we know He is faithful; He doesn’t need us. What we see as a problem isn’t a stumbling block but a stepping stone. When we continue to pray (not moan because it isn’t happening our way), praise, and worship, we are trusting Him, despite the way things look. We can commit our lives to Him, knowing He always has our best interest for His purpose.

 

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”(Proverbs 3:5)

 

  Yes, the alarm is set; we don’t want to miss this flight. 

 

Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments…” (Isaiah 52:1-3)

 

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (IThessalonians 4:17)