• Lisa Ingram

A Spiritual Pandemic


On March 30, 2020, during my time with the LORD, God spoke to me. I knew he meant this message to be for the Body of Christ, the Church as a whole. I have spent the past few weeks leaning into the LORD's heart on these Words and writing as he speaks. I believe he is now asking me to release this word, to the Church, as we are all in need of guidance, encouragement, healing, and/or peace. I pray these words bring all of these, but ultimately I pray they bring life to your spirit, soul and body!

A pandemic


As we are all experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, in some form or fashion, I would like to share what the LORD has been speaking to me during this time. He has asked me to take a hard look at the word ‘pandemic’ and it’s meaning. The definition of the word pandemic is, (of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or the world. As I have taken many days thinking on this word, and hearing it spoken many times throughout the past months, the LORD has impressed upon me that there is another type of pandemic that is currently at work. A spiritual disease, if you will, that is prevalent over the Body of Christ, the Church as a whole.

A state of being


Our state of being is the overall physical condition of a person, as opposed to mental condition (state of mind). The definition of ‘being’ is, existence; the nature or essence of a person. This spiritual pandemic, I am speaking of, centers on our state of being. If we could take a moment to reflect on the individual believer’s or Christian’s state of being, but instead of looking at it in the natural, which would be the overall physical condition of a person, let’s look at the spiritual state of being. To have a deeper understanding we have to look at the scriptures and remembering our ‘being’ is our existence, the nature or essence of a person. What is the essence of a believer in Jesus Christ? Romans 10 states, “For if you publicly declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will experience salvation. The heart that believes in him receives the gift of the righteousness of God—and then the mouth gives thanks to salvation.” - (Romans 10:9-10). Our state of being is righteousness through experiencing salvation. This verse reveals that it is a belief in Jesus that comes from the heart. “For God made the only one who did not know sin to become sin for us, so that we who did not know righteousness might become the righteousness of God through our union with him.” - (2 Corinthians 5:21 TPT). “And to be transformed as you embrace the glorious Christ-within as your new life and live in union with him! For God has re-created you all over again in his perfect righteousness, and you now belong to him in the realm of true holiness.” – (Ephesians 4:24 TPT). These verses reveal, Jesus became our sin and we became his righteousness. This is the Great Exchange! We are now in life-union with Jesus and he is our Lord. And as we allow Jesus to be our Lord, we are being transformed living our new life daily in him. Jesus is our identity, our righteousness, our state of being! We stand in victory because of what he accomplished through his death, burial and resurrection. – (Isaiah 52-54). It is a finished work through the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God. “Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” – (1 John 2:1-2 TPT)

My perspective


It’s our perspective, from our salvation day forward, that determines our state of being. It’s what we come to know and believe about our salvation that defines who we are and gives us our identity. Many believe salvation means, I am saved, I now have the gift of the Holy Spirit within me, and that means I am going to heaven when I die. There is more to our salvation than a ticket to heaven. Our salvation begins on the day we believe in Jesus, and each day after we are living out our salvation and becoming more and more like our big brother Jesus every day. If we do not know or believe there is more to our salvation, while currently living our lives here on earth, than we are not living in our fullness or in the abundance Jesus came to give us. Jesus says in John 10:10 (TPT), “But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow!” Believing upon Jesus means you are now a part of his family and take part in his inheritance. “And if [we are His] children, [then we are His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His spiritual blessing and inheritance], if indeed we share in His suffering so that we may also share in His glory (Romans 8:17 AMP). Through our union with Christ we too have been claimed by God as his own inheritance. Before we were even born, he gave us our destiny; that we would fulfill the plan of God who always accomplishes every purpose and plan in his heart. – (Ephesians 1:11 TPT).

A sick man's heart


Let’s start by looking at the meaning of the words ‘sick’ and ‘heart’; sick: affected by physical or mental illness. Heart: the central or innermost part of something.


The statement, “A sick man’s heart” implies that what is within the innermost part of us is what can make us unhealthy or healthy! So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life – (Proverbs 4:23 TPT). The Hebrew word levav is the most common word for “heart.” It includes our thoughts, our will, our discernment, and our affections.

Let us consider, Proverbs 4:20-27 (NKJV), which instructs us on our security in wisdom:

20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; 22 For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. 23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. 24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you. 26 Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.


The above verses are instructing us on how to live and bring life to our flesh, our bodies. They instruct us on much, but in keeping with the topic of the heart, they instruct us to keep God’s wisdom in the midst of our heart because wisdom is life and health to the flesh! Specifically, verse 23 reveals, the issues of life come from our heart and we are to ‘keep our heart with all diligence’. To ‘keep’ is, cause to continue in a specified condition, position or course. ‘Diligence’ is, careful and persistent work or effort. So, we are to cause our heart to continue in a specified condition, position or course with careful and persistent work or effort. It is understood than, we have a part to play in the well-being of the heart! The condition of our heart matters. The position we allow our heart to hold matters. The course we allow are heart to travel matters. We are in control and we choose what we are going to cause our heart to believe.


As I shared earlier, the Hebrew word for “heart” is levav, and it includes our thoughts, our will, our discernment, and our affections. Focusing on our thought life, there are a couple of verses I would like to take a look at.


Our first look is at 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (TPT):

3–4 For although we live in the natural realm, we don’t wage a military campaign employing human weapons, using manipulation to achieve our aims. Instead, our spiritual weapons are energized with divine power to effectively dismantle the defenses behind which people hide. 5 We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One. 6 Since we are armed with such dynamic weaponry, we stand ready to punish any trace of rebellion, as soon as you choose complete obedience.


As revealed here in these verses, it is very clear our battle is within our mind and we have an active role in bringing every thought captive. What does it say we can do with our spiritual weapons that are energized with divine power? We CAN, Dismantle the defenses behind which people hide, demolish every deceptive fantasy, breakthrough every arrogant attitude, capture every thought and punish any trace of rebellion! Isn’t it interesting that every battle listed is within ourselves, and with this list of weaponry we can stand in victory as soon as we choose complete obedience? All of these battles oppose God and are raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. Whatever is not in harmony with the knowledge of God is sin. We have to know and understand how powerful our beliefs are! Once, God said to me, “What we believe is where we release power!” Once a thought becomes a belief, it then moves from the mind to the heart, and once in the heart, it is empowered and it manifests in our lives. This is HUGE!! – Thought + Belief = Empowerment.


So, reflecting back to the original statement, “A sick man’s heart”, and that our heart is our innermost part. Looking from God’s perspective, being he is the one who made this statement, what we allow into our heart and do to maintain our heart matters. We are accountable, we are in control, and we determine the level of wellness within our – spirit, soul and body!

Passover

As we are in the midst of Passover, the major Jewish spring festival which commemorates the liberation of the Israelite's from Egyptian slavery, we need to reflect on what that means to the believer in Jesus Christ. As Jesus is our Passover Lamb, that has been sacrificed for our sins, we have his perfect blood applied to the doorway of our hearts. We too have been liberated from any form of slavery – "Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free—not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past." – (Galatians 5:1 TPT). This is so important to remember each and every day! The blood of the Lamb of God is everything, and if we go back into the bondage of our past, than we are saying the blood is not enough!

Covenant


A covenant is an agreement; a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement; a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action.


For the believer, this action was performed and accomplished through Jesus death, burial and resurrection. Let’s take a look at some of the verses that speak of the covenant:


Jesus says, in Luke 22:20 (TPT), After supper was over, he lifted the cup again and said, “This cup is my blood of the new covenant I make with you, and it will be poured out soon for all of you.” And in Hebrews 9:15 (TPT), So Jesus is the One who has enacted a new covenant with a new relationship with God so that those who accept the invitation will receive the eternal inheritance he has promised to his heirs. For he died to release us from the guilt of the violations committed under the first covenant. Lastly, Hebrews 12:24 (TPT), And we have come to Jesus who established a new covenant with his blood sprinkled upon the mercy seat; blood that continues to speak from heaven, “forgiveness”.


Even if the mountains were to crumble and the hills disappear, my heart of steadfast, faithful love will never leave you, and my covenant of peace with you will never be shaken,” says Yahweh, whose love and compassion will never give up on you. – (Isaiah 54:10 TPT). This is the covenant of shalom that God has made with us, his people. God’s covenant promise is that his shalom (“peace, prosperity, success, wholeness, and well-being”) will be our portion all our days on earth. – (Eph. 2:14).

Healer


Who is our healer?

Jehovah Rophe is a name of God which means Jehovah Heals, and Isaiah 53:5 says about Jesus, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”


This is an important Truth – “WE ARE HEALED!” Do we believe it?


A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. – (Luke 6:45 NKJV)


We bring forth good or evil from the abundance of our hearts. What we truly believe is within our hearts and it is revealed when we speak. What are we speaking? We cannot hide the treasures we have stored up in our hearts. Our words reveal all! In our heart of hearts, do we really believe Jesus has accomplished our healing, WE ARE HEALED, and that it is a finished work? What we believe matters! Remember, God said, “What we believe is where we release power!” We are in control and we choose what we believe. We are the ones who choose life or death daily!

Critical


This is critical!


Critical is, relating to, or being a turning point or specially important juncture; relating to or being the stage of a disease at which an abrupt change for better or worse may be expected also: being or relating to an illness or condition involving danger of death.


We, the Church as a whole, are at an important juncture. We are at the stage of this spiritual disease or pandemic at which an abrupt change for better or worse is expected. Individually, we choose what we believe, whether it be empowering life or death. Ultimately, it impacts us all as the Body of Christ. Will we choose life? Will we choose to believe it is a finished work? It is a matter of life or death to the Body of Christ as a whole!

People’s transmission


Transmission is the process in which signals are sent from one nerve to another in the body; the process of sending power or energy from one place to another; the action or process of transmitting something or the state of being transmitted.


Looking at people’s transmission within themselves, we are sending signals to our nerves in our bodies. We are sending power or energy throughout our bodies, the process of transmitting life or death. Our ‘state of being transmitted’. What is your state of being – that is transmitting throughout your body? Is it empowering life or death?


Now looking at people’s transmission, as the Body of Christ, we are one Body with many parts. When one is afflicted, we ALL are afflicted!


12 Just as the human body is one, though it has many parts that together form one body, so too is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we all were immersed and mingled into one single body. And no matter our status—whether we are Jews or non-Jews, oppressed or free—we are all privileged to drink deeply of the same Holy Spirit.

14 In fact, the human body is not one single part but rather many parts mingled into one. 15 So if the foot were to say, “Since I’m not a hand, I’m not a part of the body,” it’s forgetting that it is still a vital part of the body. 16 And if the ear were to say, “Since I’m not an eye, I’m not really a part of the body,” it’s forgetting that it is still an important part of the body.

17 Think of it this way. If the whole body were just an eyeball, how could it hear sounds? And if the whole body were just an ear, how could it smell different fragrances? 18 But God has carefully designed each member and placed it in the body to function as he desires. 19 A diversity is required, for if the body consisted of one single part, there wouldn’t be a body at all! 20 So now we see that there are many differing parts and functions, but one body.


No competition for importance within the Body:


21 It would be wrong for the eye to say to the hand, “I don’t need you,” and equally wrong if the head said to the foot, “I don’t need you.” 22 In fact, the weaker our parts, the more vital and essential they are. 23 The body parts we think are less honorable we treat with greater respect. And the body parts that need to be covered in public we treat with propriety and clothe them. 24 But some of our body parts don’t require as much attention. Instead, God has mingled the body parts together, giving greater honor to the “lesser” members who lacked it. 25 He has done this intentionally so that every member would look after the others with mutual concern, and so that there will be no division in the body. 26 In that way, whatever happens to one member happens to all. If one suffers, everyone suffers. If one is honored, everyone rejoices.


One Body with different gifts:


27 You are the body of the Anointed One, and each of you is a unique and vital part of it. 28 God has placed in the church the following:

First apostles,

second prophets,

third teachers,

then those with gifts of miracles, gifts of divine healing,

gifts of revelation knowledge, gifts of leadership,

and gifts of different kinds of tongues.

29 Not everyone is an apostle or a prophet or a teacher. Not everyone performs miracles 30 or has gifts of healing or speaks in tongues or interprets tongues. 31 But you should all constantly boil over with passion in seeking the higher gifts.

And now I will show you a superior way to live that is beyond comparison! – (1 Corinthians 12:12-31)


Jesus is our superior way and there is no comparison!

Being in peace


Peace is freedom from disturbance; tranquility, but the covenant of peace is so much more, as I revealed earlier (see Isaiah 54:10). This is the covenant of shalom that God has made with us, his people. God’s covenant promise is that his shalom (“peace, prosperity, success, wholeness, and well-being”) will be our portion all our days on earth. – (Eph. 2:14).


Jesus is the Prince of Peace and we partake in this peace because we believe in him, we are within him and he is within us. We are in covenant with Jesus, the covenant of peace. – For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. – (Isaiah 9:6 KJV)


20 It was through what his Son did that God cleared a path for everything to come to him—all things in heaven and on earth—for Christ’s death on the cross has made peace with God for all by his blood. 21 This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were his enemies and hated him and were separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now he has brought you back as his friends. 22 He has done this through the death on the cross of his own human body, and now as a result Christ has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are standing there before him with nothing left against you—nothing left that he could even chide you for – (Colossians 1:20-22 TLB)


Our reconciling “Peace” is Jesus! He has made Jew and non-Jew one in Christ. By dying as our sacrifice, he has broken down every wall of prejudice that separated us and has now made us equal through our union with Christ. – (Ephesians 2:14 TPT)


“I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous! – (John 14:27 TPT). - These are the same words Moses gave before he died and the words God spoke to Joshua as he entered into his life’s plan of taking the Promised Land for Israel. See Deut. 31:8; Josh. 1:8-9; 10:25.


God has not given us a spirit of cowardly fear. See also 2 Tim. 1:7.


This is our ultimate ‘state of being’ as we are in life union with Jesus and what our ‘state of being transmitted’ should be in our body, soul and spirit – PEACE!

We are sons and daughters destined for glory


14 The mature children of God are those who are moved by the impulses of the Holy Spirit. 15 And you did not receive the “spirit of religious duty,” leading you back into the fear of never being good enough. But you have received the “Spirit of full acceptance,” enfolding you into the family of God. And you will never feel orphaned, for as he rises up within us, our spirits join him in saying the words of tender affection, “Beloved Father!” 16 For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as he whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!”

17 And since we are his true children, we qualify to share all his treasures, for indeed, we are heirs of God himself. And since we are joined to Christ, we also inherit all that he is and all that he has. We will experience being co-glorified with him provided that we accept his sufferings as our own.

18 I am convinced that any suffering we endure is less than nothing compared to the magnitude of glory that is about to be unveiled within us. 19 The entire universe is standing on tiptoe, yearning to see the unveiling of God’s glorious sons and daughters! 20 For against its will the universe itself has had to endure the empty futility resulting from the consequences of human sin. But now, with eager expectation, 21 all creation longs for freedom from its slavery to decay and to experience with us the wonderful freedom coming to God’s children. 22 To this day we are aware of the universal agony and groaning of creation, as if it were in the contractions of labor for childbirth. 23 And it’s not just creation. We who have already experienced the first-fruits of the Spirit [The “first-fruits of the Spirit” would include his indwelling presence, his gifts, his wisdom, and his transforming power. Imagine what the full harvest of the Spirit will bring to us! The Aramaic can be translated “the awakening of the Spirit.”] also inwardly groan as we passionately long to experience our full status as God’s sons and daughters—including our physical bodies being transformed. 24 For this is the hope of our salvation.

But hope means that we must trust and wait for what is still unseen. For why would we need to hope for something we already have? 25 So because our hope is set on what is yet to be seen, we patiently keep on waiting for its fulfillment.

26 And in a similar way, the Holy Spirit takes hold of us in our human frailty to empower us in our weakness. For example, at times we don’t even know how to pray, or know the best things to ask for. But the Holy Spirit rises up within us to super-intercede on our behalf, pleading to God with emotional sighs too deep for words.

27 God, the searcher of the heart, knows fully our longings, yet he also understands the desires of the Spirit, because the Holy Spirit passionately pleads before God for us, his holy ones, in perfect harmony with God’s plan and our destiny.

28 So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose. 29 For he knew all about us before we were born and he destined us from the beginning to share the likeness of his Son. This means the Son is the oldest among a vast family of brothers and sisters who will become just like him.

30 Having determined our destiny ahead of time, he called us to himself and transferred his perfect righteousness to everyone he called. And those who possess his perfect righteousness he co-glorified with his Son! – (Romans 8:14-30 TPT).

Becoming


For he knew all about us before we were born and he destined us from the beginning to share the likeness of his Son. This means the Son is the oldest among a vast family of brothers and sisters who will become just like him. – (Romans 8:29 TPT)


It is a daily process, as we are becoming just like Jesus!

Fruit


We who have already experienced the first-fruits of the Spirit [The “first-fruits of the Spirit” would include his indwelling presence, his gifts, his wisdom, and his transforming power. Imagine what the full harvest of the Spirit will bring to us! The Aramaic can be translated “the awakening of the Spirit.”], also inwardly groan as we passionately long to experience our full status as God’s sons and daughters—including our physical bodies being transformed. 24 For this is the hope of our salvation. – (Romans 8:23-24)


The hope of our salvation, to experience our full status as God’s sons and daughters. How are we to experience our full status if we are living in fear and not living in the covenant of peace? We must first believe in who we are and who’s we are. We must believe in the finished work accomplished by Jesus. We must believe we have the first fruits of the Spirit within us. His indwelling presence, his gifts, his wisdom, and his transforming power is within US!


Awake ones


Imagine what the full harvest of the Spirit will bring to us! The Aramaic can be translated “the awakening of the Spirit.” – WE ARE THE 'AWAKE ONES!!'

One accord


On this Easter Sunday, let us re-member Jesus. Let us remember what he accomplished, for us, through his death, burial and resurrection. As we choose to believe upon Jesus and ALL that it means, to us, who believe. We are the sons and daughters of the Most High God, Jesus is our big Brother, our Savior, and our LORD.


Joined Together in Perfect Unity:


Look at how much encouragement you’ve found in your relationship with the Anointed One! You are filled to overflowing with his comforting love. You have experienced a deepening friendship with the Holy Spirit and have felt his tender affection and mercy.

2 So I’m asking you, my friends, that you be joined together in perfect unity—with one heart, one passion, and united in one love. Walk together with one harmonious purpose and you will fill my heart with unbounded joy.

3 Be free from pride-filled opinions, for they will only harm your cherished unity. Don’t allow self-promotion to hide in your hearts, but in authentic humility put others first and view others as more important than yourselves. 4 Abandon every display of selfishness. Possess a greater concern for what matters to others instead of your own interests. 5 And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let his mindset become your motivation.


The Example of Jesus Christ:


6 He existed in the form of God, yet he gave no thought to seizing equality with God as his supreme prize. 7 Instead he emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human! 8 He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man and was obedient. He was a perfect example, even in his death—a criminal’s death by crucifixion!

9 Because of that obedience, God exalted him and multiplied his greatness! He has now been given the greatest of all names!

10 The authority of the name of Jesus causes every knee to bow in reverence! Everything and everyone will one day submit to this name—in the heavenly realm, in the earthly realm, and in the demonic realm. 11 And every tongue will proclaim in every language: “Jesus Christ is Lord Yahweh,” bringing glory and honor to God, his Father!


Believers Shine Like Lights in the World:


12 My beloved ones, just like you’ve always listened to everything I’ve taught you in the past, I’m asking you now to keep following my instructions as though I were right there with you. Now you must continue to make this new life fully manifested as you live in the holy awe of God—which brings you trembling into his presence. 13 God will continually revitalize you, implanting within you the passion to do what pleases him.

14 Live a cheerful life, without complaining or division among yourselves. 15 For then you will be seen as innocent, faultless, and pure children of God, even though you live in the midst of a brutal and perverse culture. For you will appear among them as shining lights in the universe, 16 offering them the words of eternal life. – (Philippians 2:1-16 TPT)

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