Spiritual Growth

The Shadow of the Almighty and the Second Sunrise: Coming Across America on August 21, 2017 – A Word by Ingrid Kohlstadt, M.D.

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A total eclipse of the sun is traversing North America on August 21, 2017. The last solar eclipse to cross the U.S.A. took place June 8, 1918 and the eclipse in 2024 will only be visible in the Central USA. Some call the rare occurrence a once in a lifetime experience and an experience one remembers lifelong. Here’s how Christians can make the eclipse life-changing.
 
Before science’s insights, solar eclipses were met with superstition, being considered a bad omen from the heavens. For Christians the opposite is true. The Bible gives us reason to join the scientific communities’ anticipation and imbue it with spiritual meaning.
 
Psalm 91
 
Psalm 91:1 is a particularly suited scripture for Christian meditation. It evokes an image of a celestial shadow. “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” -Psalm 91: 1
 
This Psalm is written by King David, an extraordinary military leader. David praises the Most High as one who protects, but he doesn’t stop with an image of military success. David adds another aspect to protection, the nurturing image of a mother hen gathering her chicks under wing.
 
Historic shadows heralded safety and victory!
 
The Psalms are poetry, and sometimes their power is under-recognized. David’s poetic metaphor is buttressed by scriptures written before and after his reign. Biblical accounts of the Almighty’s shadow include these:
 
1. During the Exodus a plague of thick darkness covered Egypt for three days. Where the Israelites lived there was light. The plague ended with freedom from bondage!
 
2. Joshua chapter 10 recounts the shadow that didn’t budge: The sun and moon stood still until the Israelites won the battle.
 
3. Darkness covered Jerusalem for three hours on Good Friday, so named for victory over Hell.
 
Do you see the pattern King David sang psalms about? In each account the shadow of the Almighty brings not only safety, but victory!
 
Christians can believe as King David did, that the shadow of the Almighty brings sweeping victory.
 
Victory requires human faith in action.
 
The words “rest” and “abide” are not passive when used in Psalm 91:1. In musical terms “rest” means silence, which Mozart called, the most powerful note. In military terms rest is part of battle readiness. The Biblical accounts above involve human acts of faith.
 
1. The thick darkness recorded in Exodus began when Moses stretched out his hand. “So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days.” (Exodus 10:22)
 
2. The sun and moon stood still when Joshua spoke it. “There was no day like that before it or after it, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel.” (Joshua 10:14)
 
3. The Apostle Peter’s story doesn’t stop with a faith crisis before the darkness of Good Friday. He is remembered for the great faith which emerged from the Almighty’s shadow. Peter’s faith is the Rock of the Church.
 
Moses raised his hand, Joshua spoke, and once Peter got started he didn’t stop speaking. Therefore, as Christians we should expect to have a piece of the action. Our piece will certainly involve prayer. If the eclipse’s path were a sound rather than a visual event, it might be the blast of a shofar calling us to prayer.
 
How then shall we pray? A clue in the lunisolar calendar
 
The Hebrew calendar is a lunisolar calendar where dates are determined by both the rotation of the moon and the earth around the sun. Here’s how it works; each new moon starts a new month. Nightfall on August 21, 2017 in Israel marks the start of Elul, a month to draw closer to the Almighty. Interestingly, to further enrich this ancient season, Elul is an acronym. Its four Hebrew letters stand for the phrase I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine (Song of Solomon 6:3).
 
Said differently, Elul is the first “ILU” (I love you) text-message. Who said the Bible isn’t ahead of its time? In sum, the eclipse coincides with Elul. Both events can draw us nearer to the Almighty. Our prayers for ourselves, our church and our nation can petition the Almighty to awaken our desire to dwell in His shelter, in the shadow of His wings.
 
Individual prayer: Accept the love note.
 
A solar eclipse is fully explained by technical, astronomic science. When placed alongside Psalm 91 and Song of Solomon 6:3 the science enriches the metaphor of the Almighty’s love. Here’s the science:
 
A solar eclipse involves the moon. An eclipse occurs only during new moon when the moon is positioned directly between Earth and Sun. For example, the moon did not eclipse the sun to cause the darkness of Good Friday. We know this because Good Friday occurred on Passover, which always takes place on full moon.
 
To totally eclipse the sun, the moon’s elliptical orbit must be close to Earth. When distant from Earth, the eclipsing moon appears in the center of the sun and is ringed in fire. Also called an annular eclipse, it appears as fire instead of darkness and shadow without stars.
 
The eclipse allows us to meditate on the Almighty’s ILU. Here’s a sample of eclipse-inspired poetry to amplify the Almighty’s love for us.
 
You are the object of my love. We are not star-crossed or moon-crossed lovers. I desire you close to me, so that nothing comes between us. I want to hold you so close that you reflect my image, even in the darkness. My love for you will quench my fiery anger. For you I will light the night sky with stars and cause the sun to rise even from the western sky. You are my beloved.
 
Do you love me? PMLK (Please let me know).
 
We can each reply by prayer at any time. It’s always good to have a calendar reminder.
 
Church prayer: Be the light.
 
The eclipse traverses North America from west to east. The magi saw a celestial sign in the west and they followed it. So where is that star today? The Bible describes the church as a light set on a lamppost. A lamp is especially needed when our usual light-source is eclipsed.
 
Pray that the church draws close to Christ her beloved. May she be His beacon.
 
National prayer: Anticipate the second sunrise.
 
The Hebrew calendar defines nightfall as the emergence of three stars. A total solar eclipse can create darkness sufficient to see the stars. Therefore an eclipse can create nightfall. As the eclipse passes and the stars again disappear from view, America might experience a second sunrise!
 
What will happen when America prays with the bold faith of Moses, Joshua and Peter? Personally I believe these prayers can accomplish Malachi 4:2a.
 
“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings;” – Malachi 4:2a
 
Some of our prayers can be specific to states along the eclipse. These can include:
 
Oregon. We recognize the sanctity of human life. We pray that the assisted euthanasia enabled by Oregon’s Die with Dignity Act not end a single human life before the Almighty’s appointed time.
 
Idaho. We pray specifically for the prosperity of Native Americans and their land. We pray for reconciliation and healing.
 
Wyoming. We thank Ye Almighty for the awe-inspiring beauty of creation and the immense privilege to be its caretakers. Bless the leaders who empower us to be creation’s stewards.
 
Nebraska and Missouri. We are powerless against those who harm our land. They change the life-code of our crops and poison the earth with chemicals. Our earth and health suffer as we await Your healing.
 
Tennessee. We thank You for the gift of song and for today’s musicians who inspire us in worship. Increase their number.
 
South Carolina. We pray for reconciliation of race relationships. We pray that wounds caused by flying by the Confederate Flag be healed. May wounded hearts experience Your Love Flag (Song of Solomon 2:4).
 
Christians have extra reason to anticipate the total solar eclipse across America. We should mark our calendars for August 21, 2017, especially since it’s already on the Almighty’s day timer. If we pray during the eclipse, in faith the “rising” sun will reveal answered prayers.
 
Ingrid Kohlstadt, M.D.
E-mail: Ingrid@RevelationRx.org 
RevelationRx.org
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"I’M GOING TO REFRESH YOU ON A BREEZE!"

by Jo Ellen Stevens

Hello Spirit Fuel Readers. I wanted tell you a story about something that happened to me a few years ago in a Summer not unlike many Summers that My husband and I had for many years of learning God’s provision. This particular Summer it had been very hot and humid and truly it seemed like one of the leanest Summers that we had in a long time.

OUR TIME OF NEED

We were Pastoring a small church at the time and we both had been working at the school for many years and each Summer we had no jobs and had to trust God for the provision for how we were going to live through that few month period. This summer was no different. At the end of the year I would always start getting this feeling of almost panic wondering how we were going to make it that Summer. This particular Summer when that panic hit me, God said “ I want you to take the money that you have in your purse and send it to a particular ministry. I was like “but God that is all that I have and it may have to last….”

THE NEW BREEZE

Being Obedient, I went on-line and sent the money that He told me to. A few weeks later, I was outside in what seemed like the hottest day of the year. There was not a breeze to be felt, when suddenly, this little cool breeze came across me and I said out loud.,“THANK YOU GOD FOR THAT BREEZE!” He spoke to me that day as I said that and said. “I AM GOING TO REFRESH YOU ON A BREEZE DAUGHTER.” I thought, “what could this mean? I got up from there and went into the house that day and no sooner did I get in there until the phone rang. It was a member of our church and the woman on the other end said “my husband and I want to buy you a new car! We were looking at a couple of them and saw a particular one and it was called a “PLYMOUTH BREEZE!” That night we went to get the BRAND NEW RED BREEZE and we drove around and around that town in it, feeling like millionaires. The Lord at one point told me to look at the new car next to me and said, “see that car” and I said, “yes Lord!” he said, “the blessing of the Lord it makes rich and he adds no sorrow with it!” I said, “What do you mean Lord?” He said. Well, you have a new beautiful car and so do they but, they have a payment book and you do not!"  

You see, what it’s all about is obedience! Obedience and thanking God for the small things like the little breeze that came over me that day and obedience even in the small things. I didn’t think my small offering that day would do anything, but in my obedience we reaped a great harvest and refreshing!” Not only that, God let me know that year that he saw and he heard my plight! This is why when God says sow a seed, he has bigger plans for it than you can imagine or think. My friends, obedience is key! I want to encourage you, that if you are reading this and feel led to sow a seed into this ministry, that God is faithful to refresh you and show himself strong in your time of need! Not only that, He always gives back, pressed down, shaken together and running over!” He wants to show you His faithfulness in your life and wants you to know that you know that it came from Him!

Arise Shine! Jo Ellen Stevens

Sow a seed right now into Spirit Fuel in this moment of grace for breakthrough. Step into breakthrough and choose Our Father as your provider and provision. Sow a seed of $50, or $25, or $75, or, $155, or $355. By sowing a seed today into Spirit Fuel, you will be helping to reach more people on the internet for the Kingdom of God. Thank you for your support!

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