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Revelation 4:1 – “Then as I looked, I saw a door open in Heaven.”

I believe that like me, many of you have been in what seems like a season of wandering and transition. During this past season there has been intense warfare and sometimes down right heaviness. The Lord gave me a Word to eliminate any confusion and that this spiritual colliding was over our DESTINIES. You have to understand that Satan is not afraid of you going to Heaven. His greatest fear is you fulfilling your DESTINY. I believe that what the Lord is saying NOW is that this season is coming to an end because there is a door open in Heaven. Whenever there is a door open it requires us to walk through it in order to get to what is on the other side of the door. Since this door is in heaven it requires us to go up to go through. In other words, we will not find the solution to our wondering or our wandering from the natural world around us. Remember our lives and existence are not earth-bound. No, NOW, we are raised up and seated together with Christ in Heaven, NOW (Ephesians 2:6). We are called to be an extension of Heaven on earth. So, the answer to your situation will not be found here on earth. It never has been. Most people just think, “I’ll find a new job, that will fix it. Or I just need a new church, that will fix it.” I’m telling you the answer is not found in natural solutions. The answer to getting through this season of transition is on the other side of the open door in Heaven.

As I went up through the open door, the Lord told me, “Your season of birthing is over, and you are entering a season of fathering.” As you enter through the open door, the Lord Himself has answers for you. I sensed that the Lord was saying that He is going before us and preparing the way for everyone that recognizes this opportunity. That this open door is about seeking His face. That He has the answers and directives to transition us out of this season (Matthew 5:6).

In Revelation when John looked and saw the open door, it was in Heaven, not on earth. This is a door made available in the spirit realm, right over your existing situation. People who try to fix spiritual battles with natural means will never transition into the next season of their destinies. Only faith takes us forward into God’s plan for our lives (Hebrews 11:1). We are called to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Your promotion is connected to the strength of your inner man. That strength is only gained as we spend time with our Father. Our willingness to worship Him in spirit and truth gives us the capacity to go up through the open door – to hear His voice. That will enable us to transition into a new greater anointing and a new season of harvest. The door is open…. His voice is calling…. the time is NOW!

I now understand the reason for this season of warfare. We do not grow without adversity. Adversity either grows us because we fight in the spirit or it stops us from advancing because we attempt to fix it in the flesh (Ephesians 6:12). Our spirit man must become stronger to reach this new dimension. In order to see more of Heaven on earth, we must access more of Heaven.

Then John heard, “Come up here, and I will show you things to come” (Revelations 4:3). John was told that when he went up and through the door into the next dimension, he would see things to come. If we will learn to live from this place, we will live with Heaven’s authority and the things trying to hold us back will fall off. There is an anointing for upgrade NOW, if you will go up and through the OPEN DOOR.

My prayer for you today is that you will hear God (your Father’s) voice calling you to come up to the place of greater intimacy with Him and to experience His glory and presence in your life. This is the secret to the overcoming life.

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On earth as it is in Heaven!”

Joel 2:28 (NKJV) – “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.”

As some of you know, I have been a PK (Preacher’s Kid) since I was nine and in the church since birth. During my childhood, I pretty much assumed I had a strong relationship with God since my parents did. I went to all the services, conferences, camps, and mission’s trips with this assumption. It wasn’t really until after I moved out at eighteen to go to college that it hit me, this is real. My relationship with God is strictly between me and Him. It’s kind of like the difference between renting an apartment and buying a house. When you are renting, if something goes wrong you call maintenance. But when you own it and you encounter a problem, it’s your job to maintain it yourself.

In 1 Samuel 3:1-10, we see where Samuel had his first encounter with God. Historians say Samuel was around 12 at this time and had been a servant of Eli in the temple since birth. The story follows that during the night, the Lord called to Samuel and Samuel replied, “Here I am!” And he ran to Eli, the prophet. Eli told him I didn’t call you; go lie down. This happened two more times and the last time Samuel ran to Eli, Eli perceived that the Lord had been calling Samuel. Verse 9 and 10 read, “Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.” So, Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel answered, ‘Speak, for Your servant hears.’”

There are several principles for us to take from this passage of scripture. The first one we see is that even though Samuel grew up serving the Lord in the temple, his real influence came after knowing God through a personal encounter. A personal encounter with God is the key to knowing Him intimately. It’s in this place that we can hear the voice of the Lord.

On Sunday’s, my husband plays drums at a small Korean church. It’s a little different because they sing in English and preach in Korean. But either way the worship is powerful. This past Sunday about halfway through worship, the pastor in her broken English spoke prophetically. It was simple, but in exact correlation to what I was studying. She said, “My sheep hear my voice, this is the only way you follow the shepherd. Sheep need to listen, hear the voice of God, this is how you follow the shepherd, Yahweh.” It wasn’t a crazy deep prophecy, but it was affirmational. Sheep need to listen, hear, and follow.

God is looking for us to respond as Samuel did, with an open and receptive heart, willing to obey. He is calling us by name. We must be willing to listen. We allow so many other things to distract us. Somehow, we are open to the opinions of our friends and family but can’t take a minute to hear the truth. John 18:37 says, “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

My final takeaway from this passage of scripture is when we are willing to listen to the voice of God, He will reveal His love to us through correction or instruction. You wouldn’t try to put a piece of IKEA furniture together without the instructions, so why try going through life without the correction or instructions from God. “For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:12

Ask yourself, Have I ever had a real encounter with God? Are you willing to take the time to stop and listen to voice of God? I pray that God reveals Himself to you in a way you have never experienced through a personal encounter with Him.

All For Him,

Melissa Byers-Bond

Song for Worship

Psalm 27:1– “The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?”

The foundation of our relationship with God is faith. Our relationship began in faith and everything of God’s in our lives continues by faith. The promise of salvation in our lives was received by faith and every other promise that we will ever experience is received and manifested in our lives by the same truth – FAITH. Jesus said it like this in Matthew 21:22,”Believe and Receive.” Or, in other words, doubt and do without. One of the unchanging characteristics of God is, He is good! One of the main characteristics of the devil (our enemy) is he is not good. Fear is one of the main tools of the devil. Fear is faith, just in the devil and what he is wanting to do. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 – “God has not given us a spirit of FEAR….” Simply put, if it’s of fear then it can’t be of God. Fear can also be identified as unbelief. On several occasions Jesus would ask his disciples, “Why are you so faithless?” Because fearfulness is the same as faithlessness. God warns us of the sin of unbelief. In Hebrews 3:19, God says that His people, the people He promised the land of blessing (the Promised Land), missed out because of UNBELIEF. Unbelief always seems like a safe place because it always gets what it expects. Unbelief will always keep us from the blessings God promised to us.

Like faith, fear is a substance. Satan has no power over the believer except when we come into agreement with his unbelief and fear. Dr. Mike Murdock said, “What you tolerate, you authorize to exist.” When we give in to the enemy’s fearful suggestions, we come into agreement with him. This agreement with the enemy allows the existence of every lie, deception, and fearful thing to continue.

Faith in God and His Word will always overcome every attack of the enemy. Because faith moves God and heaven on your behalf, it causes the promise that you are in faith believing God for to come into existence. So, I ask, what promise are you in faith believing God for? The writer of Hebrews said, “Without faith it is impossible to please God…” Everything God has done, He did by FAITH. He created the earth by FAITH. He gave His son Jesus to be our redeemer, by FAITH. He is the God of FAITH. So, he expects the same from us His sons and daughters. Without faith it’s impossible to please Him – BUT – with FAITH we please Him.

Today is your day of victory and break through so stand up and take your place. Claim the promises that belong to you as a son or daughter of our faith-honoring Father. Then, everything that He has promised will come true in your life.

My prayer for you today is that you will conquer and overcome every fear tactic of the enemy’s by standing in faith on God’s Word. Be FEARLESS and see every promise that God has made become yours.

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Psalm 23:6 (NKJV) – “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;”

The other day, Psalm 23:6 popped up in my head. I didn’t think too much about it, but it wouldn’t go away. It was like that annoying commercial jingle, or song that’s played on the radio every five minutes or for me the Paw Patrol theme song. I know the verse from memory because God only knows how many times I had to memorize Psalm 23, but I can’t shake it, there is something more.

Finally, I sit down and read it, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”. Then it hit me, it’s the word “follow”. I ask myself, why would God just be lingering behind me? I vision my 14-year-old dog Mango. When he was young, he used to basically take me for a walk. Now he follows me with a look saying, “Why? I could be sleeping on the couch”. But the word “follow” in this verse is not like Mango’s way of following.

The Hebrew word for follow in this context is radaph, meaning, “to pursue, chase, run after”. God promises to pursue and chase you with His goodness and mercy. It’s more like the Looney Tunes cartoon with Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. Instead of having ACME bombs and gadgets, God has goodness and mercy.

No matter how far you think you have strayed away from God, He is right there pursuing you day in and day out. Even during your sin, God is chasing you with His goodness and mercy providing a way of escape. He is the kind of God who chases you, who pursues you, who tracks you down all the days of your life.

This He has promised us. As humans, this can be a difficult concept for us to understand. We easily break promises, have mood swings, and change our minds. But not God. It says in 2 Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” And Numbers 23:19 tells us, “God is not a man, that He should lie…” God’s goodness and mercy is not temporary, it is relentless. His desire is for us to be in constant communion and have complete faith in Him and His promises.

I urge you that when you are feeling defeated or caught up in sin you don’t know how to get out of, turn around to God. You may be saying in your head, it’s not that simple. But God tells us over and over, yes it really is. I am here pursuing you, chasing you and running after you. I want to encourage you to ask God to reveal what areas in your life you need His goodness and mercy. I pray that you come to the realization that His goodness and mercy never run out and His promises remain true until the end.

All For Him,

Melissa Byers-Bond

Isaiah 1:19 – If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land;

Oh, Girl Scouts! You get me every year with those little discs of chocolate and mint yummy goodness. And then when I put you in the frig, I just can’t stop at one sleeve. Why does the Bible say flee temptation? Logic says, I am helping young girls learn life lessons and receive badges…right.

In the church, when you hear the verses on fleeing temptation and youthful lusts we usually only interpret it as referring to sexual sin, drugs, and alcohol. Which is correct but what about the temptation to believe God doesn’t have a calling on your life? Or that He has forgotten about you. Romans 11:29 says, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Irrevocable means not able to be changed; final.

Final. That’s a strong word. We use it for things like final exam, final draft, and final game. When God uses it about us He means, I have called you for a much higher purpose than just paying bills, buying a house, getting a nice car or getting multiple degrees. That’s all nice and good. I’m not saying God doesn’t want us to prosper. He tells us in 3 John 2, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” I’m referring to that longing in your soul (like my stomach longs for more Thin Mints) that knows there is more to this life.  You were created for a Kingdom purpose and your soul is crying out for more.

We put up mental roadblocks as reasons why we can’t fulfill or figure out our calling and purpose. Being a parent is not a roadblock. It is an opportunity to grow in patience and perseverance. Last night when my daughter decided to use an entire bottle of body wash for bubbles and then hands me the bottle and asks for more, I was tempted to lose my patience, I didn’t lose my salvation. But I did practice patience and love. Our children, without them knowing it, teach us how to love in ways we didn’t know were possible. Having a job is not a roadblock. It is an opportunity for us to learn to communicate in ways we never knew we could communicate. My husband is a manager at FedEx and every night he must communicate to his crew their goals, load rates, scanning numbers all while motivating and encouraging them. It’s an ongoing opportunity to grow in the calling of God.

God wants us to use these opportunities, our gifts, and talents for the calling He has placed on our lives. It’s not for us to separate the two. Someone needs to hear your story. What has God delivered you from? You don’t have to know every verse in the Bible or read a One-Year Bible to be able to pray with someone. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards…”

Just open your heart to the people around you. Be still and listen for the heartbeat of God. It beats for the hurting and the lost. One day God told me to go buy a plant for a worker at my daughter’s daycare. I don’t know why but I did it. Ultimately, God’s calling for us is to be willing and obedient. Then we will prosper and be blessed.

All For Him,

Melissa Byers-Bond

Isaiah 54:2 -“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold backlengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.”

As I prepare myself for what God has for me this year, I glance back at 2017 and realize that many people have also experienced the same thing. The enemy has been harassing, almost like what the Apostle Paul encountered in 2 Corinthians 12. The enemy’s attack seemed like a “thorn in the flesh” trying to get me to shrink back and lessen my territory and impact. As I have been fasting these past two weeks, I believe that one of the prominent Words the Lord is speaking into 2018 is Isaiah 54:2. This year God will break through the boundaries that we have been experiencing!

This year will be a season to stretch our faith for more. More of God in our lives causing us to take more territory for His Kingdom. God is wanting to expand our tent pegs beyond our limitations. I believe that God is wanting to do a “new thing”, that we really don’t have a paradigm for. We must not settle for comfort, but we must push forward for the greater. God is always challenging us to grow but this year He is calling us to ENLARGE our territory and sphere of influences. Go for it, that BIG DREAM that is in your heart. I ask, what do you have to lose? God is saying, “ENLARGE, STRETCH, LENGTHEN, STRENGTHEN, DO NOT HOLD BACK!” In other words, GO FOR IT!! Grab your tent peg, rip it out of the ground of comfort and stretch to a place that seems impossible. In Psalm 42:7 God says that, “Deep is calling unto deep.” But before we can STRETCH or lengthen there must first be an enlargement. An enlargement of God in our lives, an enlargement of vision, an enlargement of His heart in us. God is saying, “It’s a new season that I am calling forth the deep things that are in you.” There is treasure in you, dreams in you. Dreams that you may have ignored, pushed down or even forgotten about. This is your year to “Just go for it!”. When Canon Andrew White was struck with MS he was given some advice, “Don’t take care, take risk.” God is calling us out of the safe place to take risk. We all are comfortable operating at a certain level. It’s usually a place that doesn’t require us to take risk. This year is different, God is calling us out into the deep to take risk.

In this season, God is waiting for you to step out of the boat of comfort and familiarity to experience what He has set up for you in this moment of your life. God has called us to partner with Him, not just work for Him. He wants to anoint us and empower us to ENLARGE, STRETCH and LENGTHEN our reach of influence. But it is going to require us to step out in faith and take risk. According to Hebrews 11:6, God always rewards faith. So, the greater the STRETCH the greater level of reward you will receive.

My prayer for you is that you will be thankful for what you have experienced but realize that it’s not enough. My prayer is that you will hunger and thirst for more of God and His presence this year. A deeper spiritual hunger that will cause your heart to become one with the Father’s.

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Acts 9:9 – ” Paul was three days without sight, and neither ate or drank.”

I absolutely love this portion of scripture…

Right after Stephen finished preaching an anointed, convicting gospel message, Saul had him stoned and murdered. I have to believe that the Holy Spirit that was all over Stephen and the message that he preached was convicting Saul. The reason I believe that is because when Saul left the stoning, he was headed to Damascus to arrest and kill other Christians. On his way, he had a direct encounter with Jesus which knocked him off his feet (slain in the Spirit). After Saul is knocked to the ground, the first words out of his mouth were, “Who are You, LORD?” The Holy Spirit used Stephen’s last message to convict Saul and bring him to Christ – leading ultimately Saul to become the greatest apostle of the Bible. You never know who your life is touching or influencing. It might be the next apostle to nations. Like Stephen, our lives are communicating the everlasting message of the Kingdom. Because your life has eternal, divine purpose.

After Saul has this encounter with Jesus and is converted, the very FIRST THING that the Lord has him do is FAST and PRAY. This gives me great encouragement. Saul is a brand-new convert in the Lord, yet because of this encounter with Jesus he had the strength to fast.

Over the next two weeks as we are embarking on a new year and committing ourselves to Fasting and Praying to hear from God concerning His Will, direction, and purpose for this year, I want to encourage you to keep this portion of scripture handy. Refer back to it often to energize and encourage your faith. There are a few very specific things that happened for Saul during this FAST. We should have an expectation during our time of fasting and prayer to hear from God – as Saul did.

Though the Bible doesn’t say at what point, I believe that it was during this fast that Saul, the disciple of Gamaliel (Jewish Rabbi), received his new identity as Paul the apostle of Jesus Christ. I believe that during this time of drawing closer to the Lord, God will increase your awareness of your new identity In Christ. Maybe you’re like the old man (Saul) being controlled by fear, insecurity, and deception; I implore you by the GRACE OF GOD to REPENT, let it go and see it as passed away and your new identity being totally infused with Christ. You are no longer a stranger or an orphan to the covenant, but you are now a SON or DAUGHTER, an heir of the Kingdom.

Through this fast, Paul received God’s vision for his life. God desires to do the same for you. Whether affirming what you might already know or giving you greater clarity and commitment, God wants to communicate with you. As you seek God with your whole heart, He will faithfully meet with you to give you greater vision and direction for your life.

My prayer for you during this time of consecration is that your heart will become closer and more open to hearing from your Father. He has plans (Jeremiah 29:11) that He wants to reveal to you.

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

2 Samuel 5:20 – “So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “The Lord did it!” David exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So, he named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”).

I love that David exclaims, “The Lord did it!” Yes, David had Breakthrough – Victory and Success – but only because he sought the Lord. Like the waters bursting through a dam, the Lord can suddenly and dramatically change what’s in front of you.

If you want a Breakthrough year, then you must begin by seeking God. I cannot find anyone in the Bible that had a Breakthrough that didn’t first seek God. David sought God, and God answered. Jehoshaphat sought God, proclaimed a fast, and God answered. When we prioritize seeking God, He is always faithful to show up! He desires to be with us. But, He wants us to invite Him into every part of our lives. If it matters to us it matters to Him. Because He desires relationship with us!

The truth that we all must come to understand, is that no matter how hard we try, the truth is that we were not created to be self-sufficient. God in His love will allow us to attempt to live that way. But, most of us have found out the hard way just how flawed we really are. Jesus says in John 15:5, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” The truth is that we can do a lot of things on our own, but the impact and fruit of our efforts really will amount to “nothing”, unless we ask for His wisdom and strength, then Jesus empowers us.

Do you need a Breakthrough? Then BREAKOUT! Break out of the norm and do something different! If you keep doing or giving the same, you’ll keep getting the same thing. Some people have been tipping God so long and have settled for a trickle of God in their lives, believing that’s normal. BREAKOUT- by giving God the whole 10%. Others have become satisfied with a little 2% or 3% annual cost of living raise. BREAKOUT –  do something different, start by giving God above and beyond the 10%, then you’ll see the God of the Breakthrough come in like a flood and defeat your enemies. Let your dissatisfaction motivate you to do something different. I believe God wants to make your life in 2018 a year of incredible Breakthrough. BREAKOUT, step up in faith, by doing something different. Make this year – 2018 the year of distinguishable BREAKTHROUGH!

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Romans 5:8(NCV) – But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners.

As children we are taught that the basis of gathering information and problem solving is to answer the five W’s – Who, What, When, Where and Why. It sounds so simple. I hear it from my children daily. Who is that? What are we doing? When are we leaving? Where are we going? And my favorite – Why? Sometimes when I get frustrated with all the why questions (and I know I can’t be the only parent who does) I say, “just because”.

As I’m getting older, I have found why to be the hardest question to answer. Why me? Why am I lonely? Why so many scars? Why am I here? And then the ultimate, why did He give His life for me? Me…really. My mind explodes at the thought. I can’t fathom the answer to that why. And He tells me, “just because I love you”. The Bible says in 1 John 4:9-10, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

He denied Himself and gave His life out of pure, unexplainable, and unconditional love. It says in Jeremiah 31:3 that, “I have loved you with an everlasting love”. And Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

I’m not sure why but this makes me think of that new car smell. I’ve only purchased one new car but man every time I got in that car it just felt so good. I just sit there, take a deep breath and smile. I love that smell. Now try and think, God has that feeling about us, love for us everyday all the time. His love has no end. We read in Psalm 36:5-6, “Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep.”

I believe God wants us to be an expression of His love. When the world and media is cramming hate down our throat, He wants us to break free from that bondage, change our mindset, be the example of pure, undeniable, and unexplainable love. Get rid of past offenses and breakdown the walls of hatred. Speak over ourselves Psalm 2:3, “Let’s break the chains that hold us back and throw off the ropes that tie us down.”

I am sure we all know someone who reads the back of a book before they decide to read the entire thing. Now the crazy thing about God is that He has revealed the back of the book. His love conquers all and He wins. But it’s not just enough to know the conclusion, what are you going to do with that information?

Reflect on:

  • How are you going to write the chapters in between?
  • And answer the “Why” of your life?
  • Spend time thinking about how you can be an expression of God’s love.

My prayer is that you go into this new year with the desire for more. More of God’s power, freedom and ultimately His love.

All For Him,
Melissa Byers-Bond

Your Love Oh Lord

Romans 8:5 – “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

In order to experience the presence of God in a greater way we must remove the presence of everything else! That happens more effectively through fasting and prayer. As we begin to take power away from our flesh, our spirit will gain stronger influence in our lives.

It’s time, 2018 can be the greatest year of your life. By conquering everything that has been standing between you and God – between you and the person that God has called you to be! Strong, Victorious, Overcoming, Healthy and Prosperous!

Jesus instructs us in Matthew 6:18 – “that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees everything, will REWARD you openly.” When we devote ourselves to Him in prayer and fasting, He changes everything for us.

In Joel 2, Jacob wrestled with God alone. When we commit ourselves to His presence through fasting and prayer He will never leave us in desperation. God tells Jacob in Joel 2:12 – “Turn to me NOW, while there is time. Give me your heart, with fasting.” Jacob fought fiercely, refusing to let go until he was blessed. God blessed Jacob and gave him FAVOR publicly!

Are you preparing to join us on our annual 21 days of Fasting and Prayer? Are you willing to make temporary sacrifice for your long-term gain? You must be willing to change your position to change your condition. Fasting takes us to the place of a humbling position before our God so that He will lift us up to a new condition (James 4:10). If you can push past your flesh through fasting, there are answers for you in His presence.

My prayer for you this new year is that you will experience God in a greater way as you consecrate yourself unto Him.

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On earth as it is in Heaven!”