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Anne Ballard: "Wisdom & Discernment Are Your Friends! Navigate Spiritual Battles & Move Forward"


Anne Ballard
Jul 14, 2020

From the Desk of Steve Shultz:

Steve ShultzThis word by Anne Ballard of Texas is an amazing word of HOPE for you individually and for the nations of the earth.

We've heard plenty of doom and gloom lately...and it's not of God. For the record, no one is saying we aren't in tough times...we can see thick darkness all around.

AND...that's when God's glory will be revealed...we need it! We serve a mighty God who hasn't forgotten about all of us and that includes you. He has promises for you to still walk out and we'll see that happen as we remain steadfast and faithful to the Lord.

Read this excellent, encouraging word by Anne Ballard and let it minister to your spirit-man and get ready to experience all that God has yet to accomplish...through you! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

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In this season, there is grace to lay down your agenda and fully trust in God's timing. So many have grown frustrated while waiting on the promises of God, deciding it was best to take matters into their own hands. But it is the goodness of God to reveal only portions of our future to us so that we grow in partnership with Him.

In this season, God is graciously giving out reminders that He hasn't forgotten about the dreams in your heart. Instead of growing weary waiting on your promises, there is a call for you to stand in faith for God's perfect timing.

God is also reminding us of who He says we are. In the space where He breathes identity into us, shame will attempt to fill you with its condemning nature. The spirit of shame will claim to be a helpful strategy, but its goal is to keep you from becoming all that you were created to be. As you silence the voice of shame, God is making you aware of the freedom you have access to as your inheritance. You get to choose to lean into the truth of what God says about you and declare it over yourself.

Wisdom and discernment will be your friends as you navigate spiritual battles and move forward. God wants to generously give you insight into His plans, and when you pause and ask for wisdom, He is excited to deliver. As Believers, we get to be part of the solution to end the divisiveness of the enemy by seeking unity and love. We have been gifted the ability to separate good from evil and to partner with God in what He is doing as we navigate situations. We also get to be part of the solution by praying for the creatives of the world. These ones play a significant role in the creative revolution God is birthing, and what they release will display His glory in a fresh way.

This season, be intentional in your prayer and in your pursuit of wisdom, trusting God is making a way for His people.

Leave It There

"If you bow low in God's awesome presence, He will eventually exalt you as you leave the timing in His hands. Pour out all your worries and stress upon Him and leave them there, for He always tenderly cares for you." (1 Peter 5:6-7 TPT)

It can be challenging to trust God's timing with words that He's given us. To wait on the promises that He's made to us and remember that He meant what He said can feel frustrating and difficult at times. We can find ourselves taking matters into our own hands to rush the outcomes we want to see. When He gives us insight into the future, or shows us what's to come, He often doesn't give us the timeline, as He wants us to still be reliant on Him. It is His goodness that causes Him to reveal a portion of our future to us, but taking it step by step causes us to trust Him more. Knowing all the pieces could cause us to attempt to rise in our own strength and not rely on Him.

This season, God is giving us sweet reminders that He hasn't forgotten us. He's giving us gifts and showing us a light at the end of the tunnel. We may not be able to see it because we want to see the entire breakthrough or promise spring up today. He's reminding us of His goodness and His tender heart toward us, and how He's working on those promises, but we have to let go of what we think things are going to look like or what we HOPE they'll look like.

This word is for anyone who is standing in faith, believing God for a promise, and that could be specific to financial promises (but not exclusively). There is grace right now for those of you who are believing for your promise to stand in faith as you trust in the perfect timing of the Lord. Don't be afraid to tell the Lord if you're concerned about His timing of your breakthrough. Then in trust, leave your worries at His feet. Though it can be a temptation to pick them up again, believe that He is faithful, just and true to what He said.

Who Does God Say You Are?

"Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame." (Psalm 34:5 NIV)

Check your shame at the door
'Cause it ain't welcome anymore
(Lyrics to "The Father's House" by Cory Asbury.)

The spirit of shame can be convincing and can disguise itself as a helpful strategy to be better. However, we get to choose whether we let shame have a louder voice than our Father. When shame attempts to prove its case, we get to either make an agreement with it, or deny its condemning nature. When we are able to stay in God's pleasure over us, it is so much easier to recognize shame for what it is (because it feels foreign) and refuse to partner with it. (Photo via Piqsels)

The Bible tells us in Romans 8:1 that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. At times it can be tricky to differentiate the difference between conviction and condemnation, but conviction always comes with the grace to accomplish it. Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), but condemnation is a counterfeit; it comes from the enemy and is closely associated with shame.

I've heard Paul Manwaring, one of Bethel Church's associate pastors, say that "authenticity breaks the hold of shame." There are so many today that don't know how to be vulnerable or authentic in their daily life because they have lived so long trying to fit inside a box—even trying to be someone they're not, not asking questions. They may have even just accepted what they were "supposed" to do and who they were "supposed" to be because they didn't know the access they had to freedom.

Communities that are free may still be tempted to listen to the familiar spirit of shame, but their awareness of what it sounds like versus what the voice of the Lord sounds like has increased. They have practiced, exercising the muscle of agreeing with the Lord's thoughts over them, and their agreement with God is stronger than any lie that shame attempts to throw their way.

There are four keys to battling shame:

1. Spend time in God's presence.

2. Know who God says you are and live that way every day.

3. Value and choose to live with authenticity and vulnerability.

4. Belong to a community that is free.

"Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours." (Isaiah 61:7)

God is showing us that choosing to partner with shame is a choice, and that we no longer have to come under it. He's bringing freedom and showing us it's OK to talk about it. He wants us to be empowered to choose to walk in freedom. This word is for people who are struggling to believe that they are not defined by their past.

Your future is not limited by your past. Your mistakes are not the sum total of your life. You may have even lost sight of who God says you are or who He created you to be, but God is extending an invitation to choose to believe in your true identity. The access to freedom has already been bought and paid for by Jesus and it is your inheritance. You get to decide if you want to be free. You get to choose vulnerability and authenticity instead of shame and condemnation.

Wisdom, Our Hiding Place

"My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared." (Proverbs 3:21-26)

The Bible tells us that Jesus grew in wisdom (Luke 2:52), and that God gives wisdom generously to those who ask (James 1:5). If Jesus needed more wisdom, how much more do we? The Bible also speaks of discernment, and the two often go together. It tells us that mature Christians have trained their powers of discernment to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:14), and that it assists in revealing that which is excellent (Philippians 1:9-10).

In times of spiritual battle it is imperative to rely on discernment and wisdom as we navigate our way forward. We must trust that God speaks to us, His children, in ways that we can hear and understand (John 10:27). Sometimes we experience things that cause us to doubt if what we heard, felt or discerned was really God. Our gift of discernment is another muscle that we have to exercise to learn the ways of God, and they differ from our own self doubt.

John tells us that it is important to test the spirits to determine if they are from God (1 John 4:1). An important way to do that is by evaluating the fruit of the Holy Spirit at work. When you're practicing following wisdom and your gift of discernment, pay attention to what you are experiencing from individuals or groups. Are you experiencing the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control) or are you experiencing things like fear, anxiety, condemnation, guilt, division, judgment, shame or even vile thoughts? The fruit that you experience is being generated and cultivated by the spirit that is at work. (Photo via Pixabay)

Sometimes negative fruit can be subtle. Perhaps when you're around a specific person, you find yourself being judgmental, critical or picking others apart in a way you didn't before. When the fruit of the Holy Spirit is present, you may find your interactions with a person leaving you full of hope and joy. When you are aware of your normal state, you can hone your spiritual senses by paying attention to how you are doing spiritually before and after you're around that person.

Trust your ability to hear from God and use your discernment to test the fruit of the spirit at work. Understand that the enemy will do everything within his power to cause you to doubt the voice of God. Know that the enemy is a counterfeiter and cannot manifest the true fruit of the Holy spirit.

God is generously giving wisdom when we pause long enough to realize that we need it and then choose to ask for it. He is heightening our discernment when we choose to tap into it. He's giving us what He's promised to give us. This season, as Believers around the world open themselves up to God's compassion, wisdom and discernment they will shun divisiveness, embracing unity and love.

In this particularly politically charged environment throughout the world, it is more important than ever to acknowledge our own pain and the pain of others rather than criticize those who are hurting. We were created to live in partnership with God, depending on Him to lead us. We have to acknowledge our own needs, humble ourselves and receive what He wants to give us.

A Charge to Pray

"See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts." (Exodus 31:2-5)

At this time, there is a significant call to commit to pray for creatives that God is raising up. People that create for a living (actors, singers, musicians, photographers, artists, writers, inventors, etc.) are being called to release their gifts to the world. There is a fight to silence them because there is such power in what they create. These gifted ones play a significant role in the creative revolution that God is birthing. As these inspired, "visionary thought" leaders step fully into their role and allow themselves the freedom to create as they were intended to, they will flip the script on how the world views God. Our creative expression is a representation of the image of God. This is a charge to Believers to back these people in prayer, calling in ridiculous favor in their craft.

God is the original Creator and He loves releasing creative voices into the world. What they produce during this time will reveal God to the world in a new, fresh way. This word is a call for those that feel passionate about creativity and intercessors alike to pray! Pray that God would be revealed through creative outlets in a way that manifests His glory and reveals His nature to the world.

Boldly declare favor and provision over individuals and for open doors in the creative industries. Choose a person or an industry that God is highlighting or that is close to your heart and intentionally lift them up this month. Pray specifically that God's glory would be revealed to them and through them.

Declarations:

1. I am leaving my worries at God's feet.

2. I refuse to agree with shame.

3. I receive a double portion instead of shame.

4. God graciously bestows wisdom when I ask.

5. God's glory is being revealed through creative expression.

Blessing and Increase on you and your household!

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Anne Ballard
The Crowning Jewels
Website: www.thecrowningjewels.com
Email: hello@thecrowningjewels.com

Texas born, Anne Ballard worked as a nurse for seventeen years before fully embracing her creative nature. Having grown up believing that God only spoke through the Bible, her life was transformed with the personal knowledge that He still speaks today. As she experienced a revelation of God's love for her and the power of words to transform and heal, she began designing jewelry, partnering with Holy Spirit to create a tangible way to bring Heaven to Earth. This is where her prophetic jewelry company, The Crowning Jewels, was birthed. Many people recognize her company as a business-ministry hybrid. She is known as a prophetic visionary with the drive to accomplish her dreams. Her mandate is to champion others as they discover their God given identity and fulfill their divine purpose. After living in Redding, CA for ten years, she recently moved back home and currently resides in Texas.

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