Following the Fires -The Glory of the Lord!
The Glory of the Goodness of the Lord—A Word of Encouragement to the Church in Ventura County from Hidden Manna Ministry—December 2018
As those who have prayed since the mid-90’s for unity and community in Christ’s church in Ventura County, for its shepherds and its sheep, it is with much love and humility that we share this word of encouragement from the Lord in the wake of the Borderline shooting, and the Hill and Woolsey fires—believing that God will show you what it means for you and the church.
We remain confident of this: We will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. From Psalm 27:13 NIV
The war in the spiritual realm has grown so intense in this season, that we are seeing a more graphic display of it’s devastating effects in the natural realm. The increase in polarity between this world and the kingdom of God has brought us to a fork in the road. The choices we make now will have lasting consequences for our churches, communities and children.
Following the devastating fires and the senseless loss of life in the Borderline shooting, one of the lies the enemy wants us to believe is that God is punishing Ventura County. But that’s not the nature of the God we know, trust and love. Horrific events have conspired to steal our peace and faith in Him—but these things are not from His hand. Nonetheless in His merciful kindness, He uses these tragedies to prepare us and make us ready—the coming harvest awaits, and the preparation of the Bride-church is at hand!
As God purifies, sanctifies and liberates us, He is calling us out of our comfort zone—upgrading our faith and vision, leading us into uncharted territory. We now know that we don’t live in a bubble in Ventura County. Tragedy eliminates distraction and diffusion. It clarifies and causes us to question—Is our faith in our city, county, first responders, reputation and resources—or is it in God? What remedy or solution have we other than the church rising up in unity and community to love the hurting and establish a hedge of protection through prayer over our county, our cities, our first responders and the next generation?
Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. Psalm 127:1 NIV
The combination of the Thomas, Hill and Woolsey fires burned all the borders of Ventura County during the past year. The shattering loss of life, peace and safety occurred at Borderline. God is speaking to us about our borders. Ask me how to secure your borders, says the Lord. I have plans and strategies awaiting you in heaven.
No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. Isaiah 60:18 NIV
He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat. Psalm 147:14 NIV
One of our team members experienced first-hand the Lord’s protection of borders and received a revelation in the process:Already evacuated from our home to my son’s house, my husband and I watched as the fire raced across the mountain toward us—the entire hillside behind the house a blazing inferno. Concerned, I asked, Shouldn’t we take the grandkids and leave before that oak tree catches fire and spreads burning embers to the roof of the house?My retired firefighter husband stood watching, unfazed and completely confident. That oak tree won’t burn.
What do you mean ‘It won’t burn?’ How can it withstand the heat and flames of this massive fire? Won’t it catch fire and burn the house down? Do we need to leave?
The oak tree won’t burn, he calmly reassured me.
We watched transfixed as the raging inferno blazed through, burning the entire face of the mountain just 200 feet from our son’s house. All that remained in the lower part of the backyard was the oak tree.
Singed and scorched in places, it stood firm, green and whole—in quiet defiance of the destruction all around. The oak tree didn’t burn!
They will be called Oaks of Righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. Isaiah 61:3 NIV
Research shows that many species of oak trees—especially larger, mature trees—are resistant to fire. They may get charred but they usually survive. In fact, statistics demonstrate that fire actually enhances their resiliency and makes them stronger against future fire storms.
The Lord says, To my church in Ventura County—you are my oaks of righteousness. You are a display of my glory standing firm in the unfailing faithfulness of my Son. Just like the thousands of oak trees still standing in the midst of fire, you will not be shaken, destroyed or defeated in the midst of turmoil and the fire storms of life.
Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13 NIV
Ventura County, known for thousands of oaks, you have seen the glory of my goodness in the midst of staggering tragedy—you have witnessed countless miracles in the face of enormous loss. Through it all you have been my Oaks of Righteousness! You have grieved and mourned on the national stage, proclaiming my goodness as you joined together in community—sharing grief with strangers, giving honor and glory to me as you said goodbye to loved ones, and reaching out in love and sympathy to the mother of the Borderline shooter and the victims of this tragedy.
Many years ago a prophecy was given that a fire would start in Ventura County and its embers would spark fire across the nation. Now is the time for the fulfillment of my prophecies to this region. You have faithfully waited through a long season of stillbirth and miscarriage. But that season is over. Today is the day!
You are overcome by my presence when you come together in unity. Confess, repent and be made new through my strength. Your children are desperate for a safe place where they may grow into their future hope, destiny and significance. I AM that place!
Chaparral bushes must burn, explode and release their seed to produce new growth. Will you step beyond your own borders and allow the fire to produce new growth in you?
This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate the day dawning. Hebrews 10:25 TPT
Everyone will see that I the LORD have kindled a fire; it will not be quenched. Ezekiel 20:48 NIV