Embracing Grace: Buy the Mountain Top, Part 2

Note: due to the length and nature of this post it will not be split over the two days it encompasses, but rather posted both days. I encourage you to read it the first day and meditate on it the second.

A 365 Day Devotional Journal

Days 60 and 61

Scripture: Exodus 16:1-3; Hebrews 3:12-19; Matthew 6:33.

Mount Sinai. Photo Credit: Ian Sewell / CC v.1

God is not moved by your need. He is moved by your faith. You don’t deserve because you need. The Bible doesn’t say the just shall live by their need. The Bible says the just shall live by faith.        ~ Steve Foss.

Roughly ten days ago, I shared about a dream God gave me last fall, how it demonstrated our need to “buy the mountain top.”  It was such a long devotional that it encompassed two days, yet even then one part of the dream was not addressed. Here, in another two day devotional post, I hope to do just that. You may wish to reread “Buy the Mountain Top” to refresh your memory, but for the sake of continuity, here again is the dream…

It was during the wee hours of the morning. The day was Friday before November’s Mid-Term Elections in 2010, when the Lord spoke to me in a rather vivid dream.

My husband and I were in our former home in Virginia in the family room. I was going through a box of overheads in preparation for a presentation that a world renowned minister had prepared for that evening at our church. He, his right hand man, and another minister from South Korea were staying in our home while they were in town.

I knew in the dream that it was our job to feed and house them and remember feeling concerned that their needs were met. At the moment, though, they were out ministering in another meeting. I had pulled two of the overheads out because I wanted to copy some information from them for my personal notes, but I was mostly preoccupied with what I knew to be the subject of this night’s message – buying the mountain top.

This minister had bought the mountain top and because of this, he was safe and would remain so in the coming times of uncertainty. I desperately wanted to buy the mountain top immediately, even before he shared in the night’s service with everyone how to go about doing this. My husband was with me, watching me as I copied the notes. I remember him being very curious about it all.

[I’d like to insert here that all throughout the dream I was blanketed by the deepest, most profound peace.]

Sometime later the men returned, so I went into the kitchen and greeted the Korean man in the way of his culture [this may not be accurate of Korean culture but it was this way in the dream], bowing to him with my hands clasped in front of me like how a little child sometimes prays. In this position of humbleness, I smiled and asked “How may I serve you, kind Sir? Would you like chicken or roast for supper tonight?” 

The Korean minister gestured with a grin toward a case of eight whole roasted chickens he had just brought in with him from Market Street Grill. Chuckling, he said “I think I want chicken.”  

At that moment, the world renowned minister and the man who served as his assistant walked in the door, and I woke up.”1

The part of the dream that I’d like to address today is that portion that is in bold print. My reason for not addressing this earlier was because I needed more insight into just what I believe God was saying to me. But before I do this, I need to supply you backfill, or information, which relates to the dream.

I don’t know about where you go to church, but at my church not a whole lot is being shared publically about how to personally address our country’s economic woes, other than the general statements to get out of debt and be a good steward. We are more occupied in trying to reach out to those who’ve already been financially impacted in a negative way, and to reach out with the message of the Gospel of Jesus to those who do not yet know Him. This is right and good. What I write today is in no way a criticism of my church. I think many churches follow this pattern, and that is that the church is called to reach out and help meet the needs of the community. Please hear my heart when I say, however, that the time to talk plainly is now.

We all are seeing signs of an impending worldwide economic meltdown. To what extent it happens in America, however, I believe depends entirely on the extent to which the church in America repents and embraces the mercy of God. Riots as a result of local economies have already happened in Iceland and Britain, and other places in Europe, but we have yet to see it come here, to the United States. Many believe it is coming soon.

Photo credit: Robert & Mihaela Vicol, PublicPhoto.org. Public Domain.

The economic instability accelerated when the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, and now we are hearing prophecies2 of another impending big quake to hit underneath Tokyo.

Japan was teetering on the edge financially even before the earthquake – their stock exchange already crashed some years past, and that was the first sign that things weren’t stable. How they can avoid not cashing in all the U.S. Bonds they hold now only time will tell. How will our country pay them back and how will this adversely affect us? The current government’s solution to everything is tax and spend. And to get the money for spending, they print more paper, but that only adds to the problem of insurmountable debt in the first place.

Now here’s a bombshell: I recently learned that our government signed over eminent domain of the United States to China as collateral for our debt to them.3 Where does such a move leave the future of the American people, to have our land signed over as collateral, lock, stock, and barrel?

These are difficult things to discuss and everyone has an opinion on them, but what I most often see in my tiny sphere of influence is that it is easier not to think about them at all. The reasons behind this are myriad, but some of them are “This leads me into fear, and that is not Faith”, “God took care of the Israelites in the wilderness, God will take care of me,” etc. I think we can all agree that today it isn’t business as usual in the United States. My question, then, is “Is ignoring all of it what God wants us to do? Does He just want us concentrating on church as usual, on the work of the kingdom as usual?”

I don’t believe so. God is calling us to buy the mountain top. Remember what I found when I looked up the meaning of buy in part 1 of “Buy the Mountain Top:”

The Archangel Michael defeating Satan by Guido Reni, c. 1636. Public Domain.

 “to acquire the possession of, or the right to…to redeem; ransom… buy in – buy back one’s own possession… buy up – buy as much as one can of something or as much as is offered.” But it also means “to acquire by any exchange or sacrifice” and comes from an Old English word meaning to “believe or accept as true.”4

The other day, I was listening to a sermon by Steve Foss, one he gave around Christmas, 2010-2011, entitled “Increase: the Working of Angels,” parts 1 and 2.5 Several things he said stood out like neon signs…

God’s favor is not success in the eyes of the world. God’s favor on a ministry is not God’s favor on personal lives. God will favor a ministry because it fulfills His plans and purposes, it reaches people with the Gospel, because it is God’s ministry, not theirs. The sign that God has favored your life is the access to God’s presence. This is how we can have big ministries that God has favored yet the individual is dying on the vine because they are not walking in favor in their personal lives. [I immediately thought of Ted Haggard] The first and greatest increase is the increase of God’s manifested presence in our lives. The increase of God’s manifested presence is the ONLY favor we should seek. If you get this, you won’t have to worry about stuff.6

He then went on to describe the two mindsets he believes are the root cause of our current economic woes in America: “the poverty mindset,” and “the lust for luxury mindset:”

A poverty mindset is when you are willing to accept something less than God’s absolute best. It is the exultation of your concept above God’s concept and is rooted often in false humility, a sense of lack of worth, a sense of lack of value. But the fact is your value is not a sign of how good you are or how good you think you are. Your value has been assigned by the Lord Jesus Christ, and He has placed a value on you that nobody can even come close to… when you get into a poverty mindset you get into not only not getting enough, that you can’t do it, but you also move into a realm of entitlement. The poverty mindset is the gateway to a welfare mentality. The welfare mentality is this: I deserve what the people who have, have, simply because I exist…

I’ve got to get over my lust for luxury. The Israelites were not slaves for 430 years in Egypt. Most of that time they were prosperous and abundant, but when they grew in such prosperity, Pharaoh enslaved them. So the Israelite slaves also needed to break off their lust for what they once had and for what the Egyptians now had…

A lot of people have come out of Egypt and broke the poverty mindset but they didn’t deal with the lust for luxury… They didn’t let the wilderness do its job.7

This is where I see America today. Because of the pilgrim’s covenant they made with God before our country became a nation, because this nation was founded on Biblical principles of freedom to worship God, because we started out with godly objectives, God blessed us. But the physical blessings of God are what forged the pathway to our current despair.

Photo courtesy rePublicDomain.com

When we grew in prosperity and power, in our prosperity and power we, as a collective whole and as God’s church in America, forgot from whence we came, that most of us came from a spiritually and physically impoverished condition, and we turned our backs on God, except for lip service.

Then, as a nation we began to think it was by our strength and our power that we have become great, and since we did it, we do not need to acknowledge God anymore. God is dead. We began to think that because we exist, the government owes us, since they professed and claimed to take care of us.

As a collective church whole, we saw this lust for things invade our theology. We said that God’s physical blessing was a sign of His approval and favor of us and we began to think that if we were blessed with stuff and with popularity, it was a sign of God’s favor.

Steve Foss mentioned that he was so glad to see the Holy Spirit beginning to invade the prosperity movement, and as proof of this quoted a markedly changed Creflo Dollar: “Your prosperity is not measured by the things you have, but by the manifested presence of God in your life.”8 Foss then went on to give Exodus 16 as an example what of people with a poverty mindset do when things get tough: they blame the shepherd.

Then they set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the sons of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt. The whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The sons of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the LORD’S hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”9

For some reason, these place names stood out to me, so I decided to look them and have come back with some interesting tidbits.

The Wilderness of Sin, or Ciyn [sēn], in Hebrew, means “thorn” or “clay”. Gesenius’s Lexicon says it is a clayey region “situated in the marshes on the eastern border of Egypt, now together with the whole region submerged by the sea, Ezr. 30:15,16. The desert of Sin in the neighbourhood of Mount Sinai, on the shore of the Heroöpolitan gulf, Ex. 16:1, 17:1; Nu. 33:12”10

Elim, or ‘Eylim [ā·lēmʹ] in Hebrew is “palms.” It was the second station after they came out of Egypt “Where were twelve wells and seventy palm trees,” Ex. 15:27; 16:1; Num. 33:9.”11 It is the plural of the root word, ‘ayil [ahʹ·yil], which is “ram, as food, as sacrifice, ram skin dyed red for tabernacle; pillar, door post, jambs, pilaster; strong man, leader, chief; or mighty tree, terebinth.”12 ‘Ayil, in turn is from the same root as ‘uwl, an unused root meaning to twist, i.e. (by implication) be strong. Gesenius’s Lexicon says it’s “primary notion is, to roll… whence a ram, so called from its twisted and curled horns. Applied – to strength and power …to pre-eminence, to powerful ones, i.e. leaders, leaders of the land.”13

Sinai is called “the mountain of God” in the Bible, Ciynay [sē·nahʹ·ē]. It is of uncertain derivation, but the word Sinai means “thorny,” or perhaps “clayey, miry.”14 It is the place Moses received the Law from God and is believed to be located at the southernmost end of the Sinai Peninsula between the horns of the Red Sea. Its exact location, however, is a mystery.

Northern end of Red Sea and the Sinai Peninsula. Photo public domain.

In Exodus 16:1, the Israelites set out from Elim, from the place of man’s strength and power, and as a nation they came to the Wilderness of Sin, a clayey (we are equated to clay in Isaiah 45:8-10; 64:7-9; and Jeremiah 18:1-7) region but which became a thorn to them, as they grumbled against Moses and Aaron, their shepherds, in the wilderness. Sin is halfway between Elim and Sinai. Sinai, the mountain of God, also means thorny (or perhaps clayey, miry.) At first this puzzled me, but then it occurred to me that this is what the wilderness is all about: to bring us out of our human strength to a place where we will be pricked by thorns and either turn back to Egypt/our golden calf, or allow the thorns to goad me into turning to and relying completely on God. Jesus said to Paul that “it is hard to kick against the goads” (Acts 26:14) before he turned to God.

It then becomes about being God’s strength and trusting Him utterly for all my needs. The wilderness is meant to remove by means of testing and proving anything within me that does not rely wholly on God.

Scripture says their clothes did not wear out for forty years. (See Deuteronomy 8:2-5; 29:4-6; Nehemiah 9:20-22.) And Paul warns us not to turn back in unbelief…

Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, While it is said, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS, AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME.” For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. 15

Then Foss concluded with this:

“The process of coming out of Egypt and going into the promised land, in the midst of the Wilderness, is a challenging place. It’s a place of surrender, it’s a place of dying to self, it’s a place of having to trust in God time and time and time again. It’s a place where we’ve got to lay it all down. If we’re going to move into a place a real increase in our lives, there’s a lot of junk we’re going to have to release. There’s a lot of stuff that every one of us have to get out of our lives. There’s a lot of thoughts, a lot of teaching, a lot of mindsets we’ve got to get out. There are a lot of shepherding voices throughout the world that speak the words of Jesus, who will cause conviction to come into our hearts, that will expose the junk that’s in my life, so I can repent of it and get rid of it and move on into the place of true abundance that God has called us to.”16

So what does this have to do with the provision in the dream God gave me?

It is a call to trust God utterly for all that concerns me. Jesus said “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”17

Relying on God completely does not mean being stupid about not stewarding, or not provisioning within our means for future hard times, but for the heart to rely wholly on God in everything, with my utmost goal being to usher God’s manifested presence personally into my life on a daily basis.

It is call to walk wholly holy.

What does this mean? It means walking in the supernatural, just like Paul did, like Elijah did, like Daniel did, like Jesus did.

I mentioned some hard things and some words that by themselves may cause fear with regard to our country’s future. Are these things any different than the things the Israelites encountered? If you are a true believer and disciple of the Biblical Jesus, then you have been grafted into the vine. (Romans 11) This is not replacement theology. This is the Word.

I believe the church in America is being invited to call a national fast like the one Esther called, to repent of trying to do things in our own strength, to repent of playing church the American way, to repent of intellectual Christianity, to repent of  hard heartedness and wrong mindsets, and to ask God for His mercy, His favor, and His deliverance for us, our children, and for our country.

We are being invited to go to the mountain of God and buy back what was originally ours in the Garden, to walk with God’s manifested presence and receive from His hand our daily manna.

Photo courtesy rePublicDomain.com

The church in America is standing at the shores of the Red sea, and Pharaoh’s army is coming.

Read: Exodus 16:1-3; Hebrews 3:12-19; Matthew 6:33. Journal your private thoughts.

Father, please forgive me of wrong mindsets, for playing church instead of being holy because You are holy. Forgive me for walking in intellectual Christianity instead of intimacy with You. Bring Your manifested presence to me, my spouse, my children, and help us to walk in holiness before You. Have mercy on our country, Lord, and stay evil from our shores, so that Your church may rise up and be the spotless bride You intended for her, so we can bring Your healing to this nation. For Jesus’ sake, and for the kingdom’s, amen.

 

____________________________
1 “Embracing Grace: Buy the Mountain Top.” Copyright © 2011 Deborah J. Fischer. 16 Apr. 2011. http://erinelise.com/?p=1569
2 Note – It is not my place or calling to analyze or otherwise endorse/decry end time prophecies of such persons as A.A. Allen, David Wilkerson, Rick Joyner, and others. That is the place of men and women called to the office of the prophet. I do, however, have an obligation to share what God has personally shown me.
3 If these allegations are true, then we soon will be facing much more than an economic meltdown. Here are some sources to check out. Please prove these are unwarranted and untrue!
“U.S. Gives China Eminent Domain Over US?” Louis Scatigna, 24 Feb. 2011. The Financial Physician. 16 Apr 2011.  http://www.thefinancialphysician.com/blog/?p=6057
“US Gives China Eminent Domain Over US” 24 Feb 2011. A Nation Beguiled. 16 Apr. 2011. http://anationbeguiled.com/?p=870 (Links to Republic Broadcasting broken.)
“BETRAYAL!… CHINA HANDED EMINENT DOMAIN OVER U.S.A.!” 27 Feb. 2011. David Jubb. Patriot Action Network. http://www.patriotactionnetwork.com/profiles/blogs/betrayal-china-handed-eminent; http://www.patriotactionnetwork.com/profiles/blog/list?user=3a1mko766wf1h
“Section 817 of the U.S. Patriot Act… The Expansion of the Biological Weapons Statute… Authorizing Poison ‘Projects’” SadInAmerica, 26 Feb 2011. Know The Lies. 16 Apr. 2011. http://www.knowthelies.com/?q=node/6115
“THE LAND GRAB BEGINS… COLLATERAL FOR U.S. DEBT… CHINA IS HANDED EMINENT DOMAIN OF U.S. PROPERTIES!” Submitted by SadinAmerica, 1 Mar 2011. Know The Lies. 16 Apr. 2011. http://www.knowthelies.com/?q=node/3778.
“China Speaks.”  http://www.rense.com/general85/ChinaSpeaks.pdf .
A.True Ott and Dr. Deagle interview of February 27, 2009. http://archives2009.gcnlive.com/Archives2009/feb09/Nutrimedical/0210093.mp3
Bob Chapman, 24 Feb. 2011 Republic Broadcasting. Mp3 files, hour 1, hour2. Bob Chapman of the International Forecaster joins the show to discuss Chinese economical issues …” Guest, Brian Sussman. 16 Apr 2011.  http://www.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/nbbw.cgiwww.republicbroadcasting.org/archives/index.php?cmd=archives.month&ProgramID=1&year=11&month=2&backURL=index.php%253Fcmd%253Darchives.getyear%2526ProgramID%253D1%26year%3D11%26backURL%3Dindex.php%253Fcmd%253Darchiveshttp://216.240.133.177/archives32/Stadtmiller/2011/02/Stadtmiller_1_022411_160000.mp3; http://216.240.133.177/archives32/Stadtmiller/2011/02/Stadtmiller_2_022411_170000.mp3
4 “Embracing Grace: Buy the Mountain Top.” Copyright © 2011 Deborah J. Fischer. 16 Apr. 2011. http://erinelise.com/?p=1569
5 “Increase: the Working of Angels,” part 1 and part 2. Steve Foss, January 2011. The Upper Room DFW. 16 Apr. 2011. http://www.upperroomdfw.com/sermons.html
6 ibid.
7ibid.
8 Quote attributed to Crefo Dollar. “Increase: the Working of Angels,” part 1 and part 2. Steve Foss, January 2011. The Upper Room DFW. 16 Apr. 2011. http://www.upperroomdfw.com/sermons.html
9Exodus 16:1-3. Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.lockman.org
10 Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for Ciyn (Strong’s 5512)”. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 16 Apr 2011. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5512&t=NASB
11 Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for ‘Eylim (Strong’s 362)”. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 16 Apr. 2011. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H362&=NASB
12 Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for ‘ayil (Strong’s 352)”. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 16 Apr. 2011. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H352&t=NASB
13 Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for ‘uwl (Strong’s 193)”. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 16 Apr. 2011.  http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H193&t=NASB
14 Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for Ciynay (Strong’s 5514)”. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 16 Apr. 2011. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5514&t=NASB
15 Hebrews 3:12-19. Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.lockman.org
16 “Increase: the Working of Angels,” part 1 and part 2. Steve Foss, January 2011. The Upper Room DFW. 16 Apr. 2011. http://www.upperroomdfw.com/sermons.html
17 Matthew 6:33. Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.lockman.org

Copyright © 2011, Érin Elise

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