Our entire existence is related to the heart. Everything you do in life is a reflection of the heart. We often focus on health conditions related to the heart but our spiritual health can suffer heart disease as well. It can be infected with bitterness, regret, pain, jealousy, hate, or rage. It can also be infected with greed, selfishness, arrogance, pride, or unforgiveness.
Issues of the Heart
The condition of the heart can eventually affect our physical health, social life, relationships or community. When you don’t deal with the internal issues of your heart, it can completely destroy your life if you’re not careful.
Intentions of the Heart
Whatever you speak stems from your heart. You can never conceal your true feelings or actions. For example, when you pretend to be nice to someone, your true nature eventually is exposed because you can only be fake for so long. You may think you’re fooling the people around you but you can’t fool the Lord. He knows the true intentions and desires of your heart. Everything we do must be done in love. The Word of God is not a quote. It is the Living Word of God.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Heart of Giving
When we give to others, it should be done willingly. It shouldn’t give because you want something in return. Don’t give because you want to be liked or praised by men. Don’t give because it’s forced out of guilt. Give because you are compelled to give. Give freely from the heart.
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise, ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have the glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. Matt 6:1-4
Desires of the Heart
There are so many things in this life that grabs our attention. The biggest house, the fastest car, the perfect wife or husband, and lots of money. We are constantly chasing after bigger and better things without taking time to appreciate what we have or being content with what we’ve achieved in life. We are constantly competing and comparing ourselves with others which only leads to disappointment, discouragement, or depression.
Idolatry comes in many forms. The Lord desires good gifts for his children but we must put God first beyond anything that we desire. We also should not chase after the Lord for the things in this world. God is not Santa Claus, a genie, or a magician. So our prayers should never plead or beg for selfish desires but it should be an adornment of praise, honor, and worship to the Father who knows exactly what you need and desires to give you much more than you can ever ask or think.
Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4
Shifting the Heart
When you have a heart for God, the word is embedded within your heart. The true activation of the Word of God is not something you memorize or magnetize by the law of attraction. Unfortunately, too many people are claiming the promises of God without the acknowledgement of purifying their heart and mind and walking in obedience.
When you are walking in obedience, you have a desire to please the Lord and obey His commandments. You no longer have a desire to please your friends, family, classmates, or any other person that is not in alignment with the heart of God, His laws, and the purpose and plan for your life.
1 John 2:15-16
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
The Bible cannot be cherry-picked. You simply can’t pick and choose what scriptures are desirable or comfortable for fitting your lifestyle. You can’t tweak the Gospel to fit into the culture of your comfort zone. The Word of God changes and transforms the culture.
Without a change of heart and shifting in your actions, behaviors and attitude, you are not living according to the Spirit of God but as instead as a carnal, worldly natural man according to fleshly or lustful desires. The natural man cannot understand spiritual things. Your character and mindset willingly will be transformed according to Christ when you put your faith in Him.
1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The Results of an Uncircumcised Heart
The Lord is a loving merciful God, however there is judgement for those who do not abide by his commandments. In other words, there are consequences for your actions and penalties for your sin.
Thus saith the Lord God; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel. Ezk 44:9
The Baptism of a Circumcised Heart
When you decide to let go of your worldly nature and desires, a purifying action takes place. After receiving salvation, you’re purged from your old nature, and life is renewed. It doesn’t mean that you are exempt from problems and heartache but you’re now a part of God’s heavenly eternal Kingdom.
When you decide to get baptized, it is a public display of your change of heart and dedication to Christ from an uncircumcised heart to being circumcised to Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit is activated upon your decision to live holy, sanctified (set apart), righteous and pure.
Although we are human, we will still make lots of mistakes and fall short of living a perfect life however that is the reason Christ died and was resurrected. You no longer need to live in condemnation, guilt, shame or regret. You are set free in Christ Jesus. This simple act of obedience is a dedication to the purification process of the heart. The outward man looks inwardly to transform his carnal ways to a spiritual one. It’s by God’s grace and mercy a new man is resurrected from the miracle cleansing power of the Holy Spirit to rest upon you.
So, let us come to the water of the Spirit. Let us drink from the water of life together. Let us reflect on the matters of our hearts and intentions. Let us celebrate with praise and thanksgiving and sing with a joyful heart for the things the Lord has done. Let us reflect on his nature and the promises, plans, and desires of our Lord.
In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses Col 2:11-13
Let us love one another the way Christ loves us. Let us give with desire and passion. Let us speak words of life and not death. Let us focus on what we have not what we lack. Let our minds be renewed and transformed to truly change and shift the conditions of the heart.
Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Our Father is worthy to be praised!
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise. Eph 1:13
2 Corth 1:21-22
Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Scriptures Related to an Uncircumcised Heart
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury comes forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised
Scriptures Related to a Circumcised Heart
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. 26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? 27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? 28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, 13 To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? 14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. 15 Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. 16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
1 Corth 7:19
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.
Scriptures Related to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Due to the Corona Virus pandemic, many people are wondering what they should be doing during this time of quarantine, social distancing and self-isolation. For many people, it’s a time of heartache, turmoil, chaos, uneasiness and panic but for others it’s a time of rest, purpose, testing and prayer. Many are facing loss of loved ones as well as loss of homes, jobs and social life. The burdens are heavy to carry and fear is prevalent and real.
Not only due we face a global pandemic but lawlessness and violence in our nation, a cycle of natural disasters, economical instability and racial injustice.
The duality of this situation is that we are all dealing with the unknown reality and direction of our future all on levels; economically, socially, personally, and professionally.
During this time, we really need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially since we experienced a taste of the unexpected at the beginning of 2020. We must stay diligent and mindful of our circumstances and environment.
There is much confusion, deception, anger and fear. The enemy’s tactic is too keep your focus on distractions by messing with your emotions.
To gird up your loins means to fight or battle. To run.
This is a season for battle and a time to run with endurance. In this new season, we must use wisdom and discernment to navigate through the difficulties of life.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us
Unfortunately, many people complained and resisted the lock down period during quarantine. Since they had no knowledge of the spirit, they did not understand that this was an opportunity to be still, rest and draw near to God as well as pray for direction and protection.
Due to their arrogance, pride and disobedience, they gathered at beaches, bars and restaurants despite the health warnings.
The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.
In any spiritual fight or battle, you need clarity and divine instructions. You need to be focused and silence all distractions and noise around you. It may be difficult depending on your surroundings but when you develop a relationship with the Lord he provides an unspeakable peace that the world cannot understand.
He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, But he who refuses correction goes astray.
In order to win the battle, there are some things you should do to strengthen your spiritual, mental, emotional and physical being.
Abide in Confidence
It may seem odd to rest in a time of battle but you can’t fight a war if you are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted, weary and tired. You are not able to think clearly. You are more agitated. The enemy will attack ferociously when you are drained.
The definition to wait means to live in confidence or eager suspense. The Hebrew word “Qavoh” means to wait, look for, hope or expect.
You need physical rest to repair your body but you also need to build your mind and spirit for preparation to battle all the darts of the enemy. It is priority to read and speak the Word of God daily to strengthen your spirit. Faith comes by hearing and by hearing of the Word of God. Rom 10:17 You must not only recite the words but believe them. It’s more than lip service. The Word of God is life and it must be embedded within your heart. Speaking words of doubt or trying to convince yourself that God’s words are true will not work. You must believe by faith and receiving knowledge that God’s words are true.
2 Corth 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
The Word of God is a living word. It is life to your bones. The Lord spoke the world into existence and with the same power we can speak blessings or curses into our lives.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
If you are at a loss as to where to start, you should find scriptures that speak to your situation and attack the enemy with God’s word on a daily basis. To build up your faith, listen to sermons, have conversations with other believers of faith, listen to wise counsel and instruction, put on praise and worship music to elevate your mood.
When you simultaneously implement all of these activities into your daily routine, you will develop faith and strength to move through life despite the obstacles and challenges you face.
2 Theo 1: 11
Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power
Be Led by the Holy Spirit
When you move or visit a new country or even start a new job, you have to observe and study and your new environment. You have to get familiar with the dialect or language, adapt to the food and culture. On a job, you will need to be in compliance with a new set of instructions, rules, policies and procedures to function successfully.
It’s wise to observe the ways of the people and your new environment. It’s a time of training. Be slow to speak. Learn how they function. You simply can’t jump into a new environment and think you know everything even if you are a seasoned professional or have years of experience.
You must walk in humility and not in the flesh. Allow the Holy Spirit to direct your steps. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and watch how he will prompt you in how to maneuver in a new atmosphere or climate. The Holy Spirit will teach you what you need to do or how to speak in season.
In any conflict, you will have the wisdom to size up your opponent by keeping a watchful eye and a cool head, as well as by learning their ways on how to handle the situation with wisdom and discernment. Learn the ways of the enemy. The devil is a liar and the master of all confusion.
Pray Without Ceasing
Communication with God is priority to fighting the battle at hand. There is no formal way to pray. Just open your mouth and tell the Lord what you’re going through. Ask questions. Praise His name. Listen to Him speak. Prayer require listening so do not just beg God in times of trouble for your needs or wants to be met. It’s a relationship so seek him in the good times and the bad times. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you in prayer. He intercedes when we do not know what to say or do. He is the comforter when we are pain and despair.
Walk in Your Power and Authority
When you understand the power of God and trust in Him completely, you will have confidence in his ability to guard, protect, guide, teach and direct you. You have power to command and transform negative situations and outcomes with the power of God that lies within you.
It’s not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord.
In the last days, the Body of Christ will experience the full power and anointing of the Spirit of God. However, it will only be for those who have a clean vessel and have purged themselves of all sin and disobedience from their lives. The spirit will not operate in an unholy, sinful person.
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For [a]this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.
1 Theo 4:7-8
For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.
Prepare for Battle
Everyone has a different assignment so you can’t follow what you’re neighbor, friend or family is doing. The Lord has called you for a specific task. You have unique, talents, skills, experience and gifts. This society has conditioned people to follow and copy the patterns, strategies and tactics of the world but we are kingdom citizens.
We walk in what the Lord has designed and instructed for us to do. We must be aligned and in tune with the Spirit of God. Be obedient. Listen to His instructions. We have a sphere of influence in specific areas and we must occupy the land that was given to us to glorify and praise his name.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Put on your war clothes. Suit up warriors! You have been trained in your wilderness season. Rise up, remnant and take your position. Boot camp season is over. Take your authority and Power in Christ and slay the opposition set before you.
I can do all things in Christ which strengthens me.
Although we are spiritual beings, we live in a natural world. We must be salt and light on the earth. The Lord has a calling and purpose for each person he created. You were designed to give God glory.
Jesus came to save the lost. We are his hands and feet so we must navigate through life demonstrating his love in obedience. We must have courage and strength to dismantle the violent, destructive forces and attacks of the enemy. We must be watchful of the times and seasons, laws and policies being implemented that are not in alignment to God’s laws. We cannot sit back as fearful, lazy Christians and watch the enemy kill, steal and destroy. We must gird up our loins for battle.
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Walk in the Light
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Execute with Precision
There is a plan or strategy to execute with precision. You must target the root to destroy it. You cannot allow distractions to get in the way.
See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
Sometimes you will have to stand alone. You have to guard your heart, mind, mouth and ears from evil and deception. You can’t absorb the nature of evil. Be mindful of what you listen to or watch on TV, radio or the internet. The most subtle appearances of evil can corrupt your heart. It will suck your energy and strength. It will cloud you vision. You need razor-sharp focus to diffuse the enemy.
The adversary is the master of all lies. He is a deceiver. He is a thief. He is a manipulator. Don’t allow the devil to whisper words of discouragement or strip you of your authority and power in Christ. Don’t allow the voice of Satan to become louder than the voice of God. The devil is not creative. God is the creator and holds all creation in his hands. Take your position in Christ and decree God’s promises over your life and over your family and friends.
When a boxer enters the ring, he fights by targeting the weakest points of his opponent. He wears him down to the point of exhaustion to win the match. That is the enemy’s tactic and strategy for the saints. The enemy will constantly use the same opposition to come against you.
Walk in your identity in Christ Jesus. Break the lies of fear, doubt, intimidation, opposition, sickness and disease, and resistance. The Lord is our advocate, our mediator, our great high priest and our intercessor. Put on the whole armour of the Lord.
But a man of understanding has wisdom. 24 The fear of the wicked will come upon him,And the desire of the righteous will be granted.25 When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more,But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.
2 Corth 10:3-6
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
You can’t defeat the enemy in your own strength. Who is this King of glory? The Lord is strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Psalm 24:8
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; Eph 4:14
We must elevate our mindsets and not be swayed by the ways of the world with every wind of doctrine. We must run with endurance the race that is set before us.
I say run, run, run, child of God like you have never run before!
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
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2 Sam 22:40
For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose against me.
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness
Suffering for Right and Wrong
I Pet 3:13-22
13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.
For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
I King 18:46
46 Then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he girded[a] up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
Now [a]prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.
Walking in the Spirit
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [f]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [g]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. 9 For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. 10 I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. 11 I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and [a]bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. 12 Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, My people Israel; they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance; no more shall you bereave them of children.”