Matthew 10:7-8

"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."

Saturday, December 10, 2016


In my last blog I told of how I heard two things from the Lord on a Sunday evening in November.  Actually there were three.  The first two I felt I needed to write about, but the third was a message specifically for me.  In order they were:  "I've told you the time is now"............"The Valley of Decisions"....................followed by, "I'm giving you a message to preach."

Last month I spoke of how the time is now.  I called it "The Waiting is Over."  Now let's go to "The Valley of Decisions."  I have given much thought on how to talk about this today.  How to be creative with my words in order to draw you in so that you will really hear what I am trying to say.  But I kept drawing a blank and wasn't sure why.  Usually when I blog it just kind of flows for me, but not today.  I was wondering why when I heard these whispered words, "Cut to the chase; this isn't about you."

So here goes

The passage that refers to the valley of decisions is in Joel chapter 3.  It speaks of a harvest, but not a "feel good" harvest.  In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells his disciples to lift up their eyes for the time of the harvest was happening.  That's a "feel good" harvest.  It was time to reap the rewards from good seed that was sown.  That's exciting.  We don't like to think about the harvest spoken of in Joel.  It sounds judgment.  Probably because it is!  Here it is and I have taken it from the New Living Translation.  (Joel 3: 12-16)

“Let the nations be called to arms.
    Let them march to the valley of Jehoshaphat.
There I, the Lord, will sit
    to pronounce judgment on them all.
 Swing the sickle,
    for the harvest is ripe.[a]
Come, tread the grapes,
    for the winepress is full.
The storage vats are overflowing
    with the wickedness of these people.”
 Thousands upon thousands are waiting in the valley of decision.
    There the day of the Lord will soon arrive.
 The sun and moon will grow dark,
    and the stars will no longer shine.
 The Lord’s voice will roar from Zion
    and thunder from Jerusalem,
    and the heavens and the earth will shake.
But the Lord will be a refuge for his people,
    a strong fortress for the people of Israel.

So why do I believe that this is a word for today?  First off I don't believe that on that night that God was showing me that the time of His full judgment on the nations and people is immediately upon us.  God continues to be patient, not looking forward to this time.  God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked but that the wicked would turn and live.  (Ezekiel 33:11)  However, that time will come, and it is much closer than we think.

A couple of weeks ago on the beloved (sarcasm implied) Facebook, I wrote that I believed that another great awakening is upon us.   A friend of mine replied that he believed that if that is so, then a time of winnowing will come first.  I believe that is exactly where we are at when God spoke to me about "the valley of decisions."

 There is so much worldliness that has crept into the church and so much compromise in the Christian community.  One of my grown children would call it hypocrisy and sadly, she is right.  It has really watered down the power of the Gospel.  Remember in the Bible where it says that Jesus couldn't do a lot of great works?  The reason wasn't because He was having a bad day, it was because of the condition of the peoples hearts.  (Matthew 13:53-58)  That same principle has stripped away  the power of the church.   However, it is now time to change all that. It is time to decide when it comes to God and His kingdom, are we all in, or not?  I will be bold enough to say that the time for that decision cannot be delayed any longer.  There is a shift that is already taking place when it comes to how the presence of God is going to be experienced in the United States........ and around the world.  We are warned in the scriptures that being on the fence is a dangerous place.  We need to decide now if we are going to be hot or cold when it comes to following God.  For many, being lukewarm has been a fun place.  That fun place has ended.  If you want to stay lukewarm, you may as well just go ahead and take up residence in the shadows of the cold.  Even dabbling in what we might call borderline sin needs to be cut out now.  Some reading this are being immediately convicted.  Just  remember that there is a huge difference between being convicted and being condemned.   The Holy Spirit convicts us out of kindness and love to help us become more like Christ.  Jesus often said to "go and sin no more."  While that was a warning, it was also said by the Savior who completely loved the person He spoke it to.  He was trying to help that person become more kingdom minded.  (Maybe we could think about that the next time we are ready to call someone "judgmental" for speaking out about areas in our lives that contradict the teachings of Jesus and the Bible.)

For those who have decided to follow Christ without compromise and at any cost, while we also will experience trying and difficult times, this is going to be a glorious time even more.  A great adventure that will make the trials so worth going through.  The protecting hand of the Lord will be felt.  I am encouraging my wife to write down an incredible dream that she had last night that strongly points to the protecting and redemptive hand of Jesus.  Hopefully it will soon be shared here.

For you who have chosen to burn in your pursuit of Jesus, the end of that passage from Joel is a beautiful thing.  "But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a strong fortress for the people of Israel."

Almost seven years ago a woman who I had not even met at that time wrote to me about a vision that she had of me.  We have since became friends, but guess what it had to do with?  Nothing other than a valley of decisions!  I will admit that over the last few years I had forgotten about that vision, but on that Sunday evening in November when I heard the Lord say those words to me it came gushing back into my spirit.  This is what my friend wrote to me, word for word, on February 28, 2010.

"I saw you standing in a clearing with your arms raised to the sky, it was sunny and warm as you smiled upwards. The sun shone so brightly....then I saw you turn and wave them forward....lets go!!!! Lets Go!!! I heard you say....then I saw heads turning amongst a large crowd and the way they were traveling was stopped and they turned your direction. They still seemed dazed and confused but they turned.....they turned!! He needs us to reach the mutlitudes...that is what I heard said....reach the multitudes.
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! Joel 3:14"

Up until last month I had not blogged in over a year, so I was shocked when I saw that "Right on the Mark was closing in on 40,000 page views from people around the world.  It is my sincere hope and prayer that I am helping you and encouraging you in your walk with the Lord.  God is madly in love with you and longs for all of you.  Much in the way that a new husband has a passionate desire for his new bride.  I may not know you personally, but I can honestly say that I love you........because Jesus loves you.

Come with me!  Following Jesus will be a blast!
Mark S.