Prayer Letter, February 3, 2017
Loving greetings from Engeltal! I’ve been meditating lately on Galatians 5. Most of us are familiar with the passage on the fruit of the Holy Spirit in verses 22-23. I like how the Amplified Version brings it into focus: “But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” I’ve heard many sermons and teachings on this subject over the years, but seldom have I ever heard it taught in the context of the rest of the chapter.
Paul is admonishing the Galatians about the importance of walking in the liberty of the Holy Spirit and not in the legalism of the flesh. He goes on to express what the works of the flesh look like. I will quote verses 19-21, again from the Amplified: “Now the practices of the sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity [fornication], sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), idolatry, sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies], envy, drunkenness, riotous behavior, and other things like these. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
I’m deeply concerned about people who call themselves Christians who have not allowed the Holy Spirit to bring His fruit to maturity in them, but are practicing immorality, living irresponsibly, lacking self-control, hostile, given to strife, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, etc. Paul’s word of warning is very clear—these “will not inherit the Kingdom of God”!
In a recent discussion with Etienne Blom, the seer from South Africa, we were talking about Heaven and Hell. He told me, “You will be surprised at who doesn’t make it to Heaven!” We know from several testimonies of people who have visited Hell that there are Christians there, some because of unrepented sin, and others for not forgiving those who hurt them. They were snared by the devil whose intent it is to not go to Hell by himself, but to take as many as he can of the creatures God made in His own image.
Beloved, check your heart! Check your fruit. When someone upsets your apple cart, what kind of fruit comes rolling out? Let’s invite the Holy Spirit to do some house cleaning in our lives. Invite Him to come as the Psalmist David said so eloquently in Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” It’s the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. Let’s make self-examination and pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to sweep through God’s people to fill us all with His love and character, so we will be able and wise mentors for the great harvest that’s at hand!
WORLD CONVENTION NEWS: We have all the speakers confirmed for the World Convention! They are: Sigi Oblander, Clay Nash, Robert Henderson, Gene Little, Peter Snyder, Mark Bristow, and yours truly. I’m getting excited already! Also, the hotel reservation link is now available online. Click here or go to our website. You can also call the Holiday Inn directly at (479) 751-8300. Be sure to mention that you are attending the End-Time Handmaidens and Servants World Convention. The dates are July 3-7, 2017. We will also have a “pre-glow” meeting on Sunday night July 2, in case you want to come early.
HELP! We need serious prayer and affirmative action! We don’t currently have a full-time cook, so our staff members are having to step up and take turns cooking. If you, or someone you know, sees cooking as a ministry, and would like to join our all-volunteer staff and live the faith life with us, we invite you to call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org”> email@example.com to request an application. New staff will start with a one to three month trial period.
We also need a maintenance person, a graphics and publishing person, and a secretary, and the same application process applies. Please pray for these positions to be filled by God’s appointed individuals.
RECENT HOMEGOINGS: In the past week, two of our long-time Handmaidens have gone Home. Evelyn Kinsella of St. Louis, and Sonya Hallenbeck of Lubbock have joined the saints on the other side of eternity. I’m sure there was a grand reunion at the gates! Please pray for the families, and pray for the Lord to raise up those of the next generation who will catch the torch that they have thrown as they exited.
RETREAT FEBRUARY 10-11: Clay Nash will be with us for Friday Night Live Worship next week on February 10, staying over for an extra meeting on Saturday morning, February 11. We are holding our meetings in the valley for the winter at the Maranatha Tabernacle. That way we can still stream the weekly meetings even in case of bad weather. If you want to come and park at the Glory Tabernacle, give us a call and we can shuttle you down for the meetings at Maranatha, and overnight in our dorm in Bethlehem, if you choose (bring your own sheets and towels). Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast, and Saturday lunch will be available for a donation. Please give us a call to let us know you are coming so we know how many we will need to feed.
URGENT NEED: We are walking by faith and not by sight, and we know that God has promised to supply all our needs according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus. Please pray fervent, effectual prayers for the finances to pay the bills. We need a breakthrough from the hindrances that are holding us back from meeting our obligations.
Thank you to each one who gives—we are eternally grateful!
Your handmaiden and servant,
Sharon and Philip