Return to Your First Love and Original Calling

Beloved Intercessors,

Loving greetings from Blue Mountain Christian Retreat in eastern Pennsylvania! We took a little longer than usual to cover the 1200+ miles this time, because we have with us for our ministry team our daughter Heather and her family. It was wonderful to have Timm help with the driving, and I had the privilege of sitting between Mia, age 9, and Lucas, age 7. We did lots of story reading, I taught them how to read an atlas, and held the crayons for them while they colored. I also had the privilege of being their pillow when they napped to make the miles go by faster. I am sure that all of you grandmothers will agree, grandchildren are wonderful! Heather sat in the backseat with Samuel, who will be two on June 6. He was a real trooper, and took the travel well.

We stopped in Cayauga Falls for a powerful meeting with the Northeastern Ohio Branch of ETH&S. Geneva Chervenic was our “hostess with the mostest.” Eileen Fitzgerald, the new vice president, chaired the meeting.

There is a beautiful plaque on the wall in the kitchen of the speaker’s apartment here at Blue Mountain. Here’s a picture of it. I keep looking at it and gaining encouragement. Remember, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah lives inside of you when you need boldness! He is everything you need! He is the Great Forgiver when you need the grace to forgive! He is the Alpha and Omega when you don’t know where to start. He is the great Shepherd when you need comfort and guidance. He is The King of kings and Lord of lords when you need favor. He is the Great Deliverer when you need freedom. He is the Great Physician when you need healing. He is the Word of God when you don’t know what to say. He is living inside of you as Jehovah Jireh, the God who sees the need and sees to it!

My spirit has been singing inside of me a little song I learned over 30 years ago:

Every place on which your foot shall tread,
I have given it to you!
I have given it to you!
No man shall be able to stand before you.
I will be with you!
I will be with you!

Be strong and courageous!
Do not tremble or be afraid!
For the Lord your God is with you
Where ever you go!

Every place on which your foot shall tread
I have given it to you,
I have given it to you!
No man shall be able to stand before you!
I will be with you!
I will be with you!

Of course, this comes from the first nine verses of Joshua chapter 1, where God speaks to Joshua to encourage him to get on with the job of taking possession of the Promised Land after the period of mourning for Moses was over.

It’s hard to comprehend that Sister Gwen has been gone for five years now! We always feel it especially strongly when we come to Blue Mountain. She spoke here every year from 1976 until 2011— that’s 35 years. We became her road crew for this event in 1983, and only missed the retreat once when we were injured in a car wreck 10 years ago. That makes 35 years now for us too. This is a significant time!

And just like the children of Israel, after 40 years of development in the wilderness, spent three days on the bank of the Jordan River preparing themselves to cross into the Promised Land, so we stand with seven weeks of preparation time before the 40th World Convention. When they crossed the river and camped for the first time on the Land that God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God spoke to Joshua to make sharp knives and circumcise them. Circumcision was the token of the covenant promise that they would obtain the Land to possess it.

Abraham had immediately obeyed God and circumcised himself and his whole house the very day that God gave him the promise and the command to do so. Abraham was not one to delay — he immediately obeyed God! But his children of the fourth and fifth generation hadn’t been so obedient in the wilderness. They hadn’t circumcised their children, although there is no explanation in the scriptures that I am aware of as to why they didn’t. However, Genesis 17:14 indicates that those who are not circumcised have broken the covenant. How could they possibly be able to take the country without the token of the covenant in their flesh?

And how can we, the End-Time Handmaidens and Servants, expect to be used of God to prophesy as the Joel 2:28-29 company in these momentous days unless the flesh has been cut away from our hearts?

How easy it is for pride, the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches to overtake a people in this Laodicean Church age and reduce it to a blind, harmless, fruitless, lukewarm condition so that it cannot be used by God against the works of darkness! Perhaps you are already re-fired and ready, but I think many have lost some of the passion they once carried. We are in a kairos season, Beloved! We have an opportunity — we don’t know how long this window will remain open — to return to the fullness of the calling of God in our lives.

Return to Your First Love and Original Calling 

Before we opened the Spring Gathering earlier this month, while Etienne Blom was with us, we felt led of the Lord to redeem Engeltal and call it back to God’s original plan, intents, and purposes. Once we completed that step, we realized that God was also calling each of us individually to be restored to His original purposes and callings.

And so, I am issuing to you this challenge, to lay aside every weight and every distraction and press into the Presence of God for the restoration of His purposes for your life. Turn off Facebook (except to watch the meetings we will be streaming this weekend and Friday evenings), turn off the TV. Even the news isn’t telling you what God wants you to hear. Turn off all the voices of the world and listen to what He has to say!

Multiply your time in the Word of God and multiply your praying in the Spirit. It’s time for us all to step up into the fullness of the maturity of the sons of God who can operate with their Father to do business with Him and on His behalf. Make your calling and election sure with all diligence! (2 Peter 1:10)

Make your plans to reconnect and re-fire at the 40th World Convention in Springdale, Arkansas! Be willing to pay the price for your eternal destiny to be fulfilled! Meet every excuse and distraction with the question, “What does this matter in the face of eternity?“ God will meet your faith with miracles!

Even the Laodicean Church was given an awesome promise for their Overcomers: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne” (Revelation 3:21). We are called to throne room ministry, but we will never get there if we do not practice living in His Presence as worshippers and intercessors while we are on the earth. Let’s push in the clutch and shift gears for this new season!

While Israel is celebrating their 70th birthday, and celebrating our new Embassy in Jerusalem, they are also preparing for war, already dealing with clashes and skirmishes. In the same way, we must enter into this new season with great joy and make sure that our armor is all in place. Our swords (the Word of God) must be sharp in our mouths to be able to prevail against the gates of hell and set the captives free. This is not a defensive battle! We must be on the offensive in prayer and intercession! We are on the verge of the greatest Harvest that the world has ever known. It has already begun. Are you ready?

Your handmaiden and servant,
Sharon and Philip