A Simple Poem

This morning I heard this simple invitation from the Lord…

Come into the sanctuary
Sit with Me a while
Lay down all your heavy cares
Lift your head and smile

No matter where you are, God is there. No matter how much you have to do. God is there. In the middle of your mess, he’s a Father who has time.

He always has time.
He is the glory and lifter of our head.

We can choose to lift our head to him and smile.
When we do, the things we struggle with
and voices around us bow.
They can get no applause.

Suggested reading to soak on: Psalm 3

https://www.biblehub.com/niv/psalms/3.htm

A song to help you look up:

Wilderness or Pasture? It’s all in your perspective.

Perspective is so important in life, and it’s easy to stay focused on ourselves to the degree that we are consumed with feelings and attitudes that are not from God. As I was in a place of deep intercession this morning. I began to cry, “There are no unwanted children! There are NO unwanted children in this world. Everyone of them is wanted.” Oh, how the lies settle into our soul when we don’t see the bigger picture God has planned for our lives. His timeline seems long sometimes, as we wait, but he is developing us in the place we are at.

To those who feel rejected, God says, “I see your heart. You are not misunderstood. You just don’t understand how MUCH you are wanted. You have listened to a voice of deception and not seen the whole picture. Don’t focus so much on your own heart and look at the heart of the ones who you think have given up on you, or hurt you. Do you fully understand why? Do you understand what sacrifice looks like yet?

The wilderness is not a bad place! It’s a restful place, a pasture, where David sang to the Lord and overcame the lions and bears he alone faced. God gave him a promise while he was still there, even anointed him, yet he had to grow up in faith and stature to be able to carry the title of king. He had to learn, be trained in warfare and prove himself or he would have not have been the king who overcame as he did, who did not let the world or its ways affect him. Note, David didn’t get a personal trainer to do it. He didn’t even get a mentor! A shepherd is left in the quiet and focuses on his sheep.

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If you feel isolated, or alone, remember Samuel. Remember how his mother gave him up for a greater purpose to be alone with God in the temple at a young age.

Understand the sacrifice Hannah had to make when she cried for a child and then promised to raise him for God. She wept. She wept! But she said, “Yes”, knowing her relationship would be limited but that she had to prepare him to live dependent on God and his voice alone. How great the temptation to feel alone in that place. But Jesus said, “I will never leave you.” Can we be content with him alone? Is he enough? 

There are different groups of people who may be reading this.

There are Hannah’s

Remember the story above.

There are humble kings

Remember David. God was developing him in the pasture. His calling was not recognized by anyone but the prophet. David’s father didn’t even include him in the lineup when Samuel came to select one of his son’s as king. He was still “out tending sheep”. The prophet knew who he was looking for but, note, he didn’t take him along with him and raise him up. That was not in his power. No, all he did was call him out. Then, David was content to man the sheep or to serve until his time came, when the people recognized him as King 15 years later!

David always honored Saul, even when he knew he had been anointed future king. Could he walk as king yet. No. He just went back to his sheep and cared for them well. He walked in fear of the Lord, wanting to be ready when the time came for him to lead a great people, God’s people! With reverence and humility and never exalted himself or pushed his way to the top. He waited for his time and seemed to understand the need to grow until the time came to take on more responsibility. 

There are prophets going through death to self

Remember Joseph. What did we hear from him at first. “I… I…. I’’’ I had this revelation. I had that revelation. It was more than his brothers could take, and he was rejected by them. Sold into slavery. Mopped floors in the palace, was misunderstood and thrown in a dungeon. Yet God allowed it. He had great revelations from his youth, but he needed to learn something. Psalm 105:19 says, “Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character” (NLT).

When the time comes to be recognized, you will not exalt yourself, so rest and take care of what is in your garden right now. Just walk in what you have and shepherd well what is right in your pasture. Don’t envy what is not yet yours, or lust for what you do not yet have. You are gaining wisdom, patience, self-control and learning to love. Relish the opportunities to be humble. Be content and serve well with what you have. In time, as you are faithful with little, God will entrust you with much. Remember that a prophet needs to be SURE of the voice he/she is hearing, so if you have a call to speak on God’s behalf, RELISH all the opportunities for pruning and correction that come your way. Stretch and practice your gifts, but don’t be eager for responsibilities you are not ready to walk in. Surely Joseph thought his time had come when he got that wise dream interpretation, but he had to wait two more years. God was preparing him for a certain time. A CERTAIN TIME. Striving in the dungeon would have done no good. How humble he had to be before he went before the Pharoah to interpret that dream. It was a hard dream. It determined the fate of nations. 

What can you do while you wait? Enjoy the fellowship of the Lord. Learn what is His voice and what is not. Do what God instructed Jeremiah to do in Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you unsearchable things you could not know.”

Savor the revelation God gives you. Hide it in your heart until he makes it come to pass. Test those words. Speak out only what he gives you permission to say. Cherish the rest and let it give you joy. Live in humility as David did. Learn from him. Jesus himself was called a “son of David”. What an honor.

Corrective Authority is in YOUR TONGUE

God is shaking free speech loose and it is setting the nation free!

As I was praying and worshipping this morning, the verse “Life and death are in the POWER of the tongue,” came to me over and over again. I felt a shift in my spirit around this verse. I realized we have heard this verse and many times and some have felt it only as a warning to “watch our words”, but the LORD is saying something different to me today. We’re trying to be SO careful about what we say so that we represent Jesus well, or don’t offend people. It’s time to disregard the voice of the accuser and read that verse again!

“Life and death is in the POWER of the tongue.”

I turned on a worship video where they began with Holy Spirit order. To some it may have sounded like chaos, but all just made their own noise of praise to the Lord, then at some point, they began a song in unison. I think this is how God works. We let out what is in us individually, praying in the spirit and truth, and as we yield to HIS Spirit, he brings us into a united song. I noticed that they didn’t have a lot of skill as we measure skill in our performance orientated society. They would never make the worship team in most of our churches. But what was obvious was that they were WORSHIPPERS and that they worshipped the Lord with all of their heart with what they had. I found myself with freedom to breakout in my own voice as I worshipped WITH them as children of God… and my focus was on the Lord.

As I worshipped, I saw the tongues of the people of God on fire releasing life wherever they go. Proclaiming God’s divine order over themselves and the nation, proclaiming the good God wanted to bring and ending the reign of the ungodly.

FREE speech is our right in this nation. Thank God.

I felt the Spirit move me as I worshiped and I loosed my tongue to speak aloud about the nation. I was alone with my teenage son, but he was there to agree and hear. As I spoke aloud the things that bubbled up about our nation I saw wonderful things! God ordained order coming.

Awareness of our Constitution rose up in me. What a miraculous document that is!  I saw the foundational TRUTH established by it and God’s order in it. The truth that this is a nation of free speech. We HAVE free speech, yet we have been believing lies that we don’t. The muzzle Christians have felt covering their mouths is their own imagination, something to be cast down. We have free speech to share about Jesus.

“You will also declare a thing,
And it will be established for you;
So light will shine on your ways.” (Job 22:28)

God began to expand my understanding of a scriptural truth. “

Romans 2 “11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;….
16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”

Equality is God’s order, fair treatment, like it or not. He doesn’t give one free speech and not another. As this truth became evident, the knowing happened in my spirit that that there IS no muzzle on the body of Christ in this nation because our Constitution guarantees our right to free speech without punishment. It is our own responsibility if we don’t believe it or act upon it.

I continued to worship and decided to allow prophesy to come forth. I opened my mouth and yielded to to God for the nation. I saw a vision of a person leaning over an open Bible, quickly flipping the pages with hunger, saying “I need to know what’s in here!” God is putting hunger in the hearts of people. They will recognize the Bible as truth! I realized that God’s word WILL be exalted in this nation, restored to its place and position of honor, not just at home, but in the school and in the government as well. He is exalting his Word!

As I saw this I saw a shaking happening, I felt the weight of it. I realized that as God’s order is spoken in faith, nothing we’ve been standing on that is not truth will be able to stand in a shaking like this. ONLY the things that are firm and true will endure and

Isaiah 59:19 will come to pass..

“From the west, people will fear the name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the LORD drives along.”

In my spirit, I “knew” with conviction that a shaking was increasing in response to the words of truth that are being spoken by God’s people. I saw the earth responding and knew the plates of the earth would be shifting as a result of this and that an earthquake would be the result, even now. ‘It may be right now,” I thought. Then I felt urgency that it would not be limited to one place, but it will trigger others. I do not say this lightly, but with awareness of the challenges that come with natural disasters. But when the words that were in agreement with the Lord and his word went forth, the earth moved.

Yes, there may be some hardship. But as that thought came and tempted me with grief, I felt that God had an answer for us. I began to speak “God is going to reveal a short word in scripture that will become a truth for us all.” I didn’t know what they were when I said that, but immediately after I said the first part, I saw the words “GOD IS PROVIDER” fill in the blank space I saw.

I believe this is the word he is speaking over individuals and over the nation right now, over nations.

GOD IS PROVIDER.

The things we have relied upon as our comfort, our strength and our sources of security are being removed. We read the words of scripture, “Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father.” That is a declaration that invites alignment every time we say it! We have invited God’s divine order into our lives and our nation. Unity and order comes one knee of surrender at a time. We want God to be the head of this nation so clean up is happening. The idolatrous things we stand on are being removed. It’s a temporary shaking, momentary light affliction, but in the end, there will be fields of freedom to run through.

So what can we do to bring this amazing freedom and solid ground? …..

The Spirit of Truth lives in every believer. Let Him loose to flow out like a river of thanks and praise. Yield your heart and give him access to your voice. Your voice matters. When we confess righteous things with our mouth, out loud, we break contracts of agreement with darkness that we don’t even realize we have spoken. We come in agreement with abundance and out of agreement with lack. Jesus spoke of the promised spirit in John 7:

“37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified”

A side note: This yielding may allow some of you to speak in tongues who have never been able to use this gift. I realized today that speaking in tongues is “yielding our tongues” to God for his use because, “life and death are in the POWER of the tongue.” We need to give him permission to take over, not just our tongues, but our attention and our time. Offer ourselves as an offering to him in worship and places of rest with him and we will find that all the things of this earth fall away from our attention. Peace will be restored in us and as we yield our tongues in these moments of worship and adoration, his words of divine order will pour forth, if we only open our mouths.

Illustration to close:
I had a dream last night where I travelled to different places in the world. In one scene, a man was standing very close to me. He was of a non-Christian faith. I felt the awkwardness of our differences at first, but then I allowed myself to remember the Lord and didn’t focus on him. I began to sing a quiet tune, not to him, but right near him. My attention was on God, my wonderful Savior. I sang, “Jesus loves me this is KNOW for the Bible tells me SO.” He said something about how he may not agree, but I didn’t really “hear him” or take any concern about it. I just said, “That’s ok. I believe it and I’m singing it.” God’s presence surrounded me and must have touched him, but my focus wasn’t on him, but on adoration of the Lord. He had a choice to believe it, or not.

(For alignment with God’s word. I suggest this further reading: Haggai)

What is Knocking at Your Window?

Have you ever had a sign that makes you wonder? This is what I have been seeing at my window for the last four days, all day. He goes from window to window, depending on where we are, tapping and trying to get in. When my kids were small, we always hoped of attracting an Oriole as a backyard bird. When we saw one flit by it was a rare treat. Now, this coveted, beautiful bird is pursuing US.  He seems not to care about what else is going on in the world. He seems to have nothing that distracts him from his purpose of sitting at our window, singing and tapping.

A window is a prophetic symbol. I believe the things we have been pursuing are now right at hand, in plain view. This bird is normally seen flitting high in the tree tops, but he will occasionally come down for an orange or for sweet nectar.  The color black is the color of the tribal stone for the tribes of Joseph, and his sons Ephraim and Mannasah. It is a color of double blessing. The double blessing comes through death to our selves. When we allow God to be a consuming fire in our lives we are transformed like wood is to ashes. There is a chemical change. There is no going back. As ashes, a symbol of death, we become fertilizer for the garden God is planting around us. God humbles us through the fire of our lives until we let go.

After the fire comes the glory. In surrender, we begin to see like Jesus, to have the mind of Christ. Utterly submitted to death, Jesus gave up his spirit, but he never lost hope. He didn’t see death as the end but always saw from a heavenly viewpoint. Jesus, like the oriole, usually has a much higher perspective because he dwells in heavenly places. Yet he came low so we could get to know his ways and what God really was like. I’ve learned from this bird, that when it flies away for a moment, it ends up on another window, looking for another way to get in.  How long has Jesus been knocking at my door, wanting to sit with me and dwell with me? You may be able to imagine how tempting it is to let this bird in. He is so cute! His colors so vibrant and his persistence is amazing and inspiring. Yet, I know that when if I let him in, my house would get a little messy. When people who are not like us need to come into our lives, it can be a little messy too.  What is he “calling” us to do right now? What is knocking at our window that God wants us to let in? I know this bird will not stay forever. It will move on if we never respond. We can resist the beautiful things God has for us by holding to our fear of messy or of the unknown.

In the distance of the picture above, you’ll see I have a large pen.  This week it was also Emancipation Day for four little chicks and three turkey poults who graduated from their brooding nest in the basement and had never enjoyed the outside.

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Previously, when we have gotten chicks, we bought like kinds, all the same of what seemed to be the best producers. But this year I picked what I always wanted, variety! The little silver chick will lay olive eggs, the white is one known for being friendly and a good mother, the orange bird has PERSONALITY! And the one who’s a little larger and not seen well here is a Rhode Island Red, a reliable producer with a strong heritage. You see, we need all kinds. It makes life more interesting. It’s also easier to give names to birds who are all unique. I haven’t decided on the perfect names yet but they are the cutest chicks EVER!

As I write, the oriole is jumping from window pane to window pain singing and trying to get close. There is a lot of bird activity going on at our house right now! I’ve had two dreams recently where a variety of animals appeared. In one, I went to feed the ducks and a cow bent down and put his face in the water. I don’t have a cow! I love cows, but the thought of having a cow is a little scary, messy – literally. The next night wild birds appeared in the silver trough where we were raising the three little turkeys, all living together. Now, this bird shows up.

In fact, if you want to talk about different, check out these little turkey poults.

FFEAF6C6-0F80-4CA8-94C8-30E5D70645FAThese three moved to their new pen with the little chickens. They are currently separated so that the turkeys can have a different feed, but they seem to want to be in with the little hens. They don’t know they are different species. They just know they are all birds. I pray we all come to believe like that about each other. We are all different, but we are all children of God and belong together in a flock.

My world is getting interesting on this little five acre corner of the world, yet in each thing I write about here, I see that God is really giving me the desires of my heart and teaching me so much about his ways.

We are soon to get the ducks I once thought would be perfect. That is another story, but the pair of the breed I originally wanted popped up on Craigslist nearby and now, we will have peace at the pond, and fewer snails and bugs in the garden.

Whatever the desire of your heart is, I pray you see God is bringing it to you. It is not far off. It is up close.

Revelation 3:19-20

“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

This verse is so often quoted and it can sound so common that we brush it off. How many times have I heard the same things from God and not acted? Far too many. Now, He has come close to speak loudly to me. As I read the whole section in context, it’s a loud message to me.  God measures us with HIS standard, not ours. We can justify what we do or don’t do with many little excuses, but now, He has come close. He is coming close again.

How is God speaking to you?

Will you listen?

Will you open the door?

Will you let him come in?

It may be messy… yes.. but how beautiful are the feet of him who brings good news.

Great things are prepared!

Come to the table!

I see a big banquet table covered in a white table cloth. There is nothing yet on it, but I feel a sense of expectancy as I see all the clean space waiting to be filled with good things. It’s time to expect that God will do great things right in front of us. He is willing and able! Just come sit at the table and wait for him.

This morning I am sitting on my couch re-reading “The Hungry Always Get Fed” by Heidi and Roland Baker. There is a page of photos. In each, there is a photo of Heidi with “one”, one person. There is one of Heidi with a girl named Kakala, a deaf mute all her life, now speaking and hearing. I can’t help but put my hand on the picture and thank God for what happened in that “one”. What a difference a Jesus moment made to that one person! That one life will change other lives.

I was sort of swooning in the moment of what God could do as I put my hand on her picture, and looked for a place to set my coffee cup down. My Bible was nearby so I put my cup on it.  Then I stopped, “No”, and I moved the cup to the coaster.  I picked the Bible up, stared at it, and a fresh perspective came to me. “This isn’t the end. It’’s only the beginning.”

Somehow, for some reason, we can get the idea in the church that it’s all about knowing the Bible, that knowing it perfectly is the “end” of our faith and finishing, but no, it is only the beginning. The Bible is just the launch pad to greater things. It is the beginning of a movement that founded the world. It launches us to love the one who needs a miracle, who needs to meet love. Without it, we woudn’t understand what it looked like in the beginning, but with it, we see a willing God full of power, love, mercy and joy, willing to help his children out of any mess they make if they come to him. He is our refuge, our ever-present help in times of trouble, the miracle-working God who breaks chains and changes the world by instilling hope, sometimes one face at a time.

Through these encounters, we multiply, by loving the one who needs love in the middle of a crowd of people, just – that – one, that desperate one. 

Our encounter with the God of new beginnings and Jesus, his Son, changes everything. He makes us NEW. He is not patching up our old man, our old self. He makes us new. We are re-born as a new creation, not reincarnated until we get it right. No, our God, our loving Jesus, saves us from what our old man, our old nature, and puts HIS nature in us. He give us HIS capacity to love beyond all human ability. It is uncontained, uncontrolled, wild and free – and perfect.

John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

A Time of Extremes

As we sit “on ice” here in Indiana, I am drawn to the concept of extremes. As I sit in my house, a thin wall separates me from the deadly cold. I’m so glad I’m on this side of the wall. When we dwell in Christ he surrounds us in every storm…

adult beverage breakfast celebration
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We are in our third day of extreme cold here in Northern Indiana. This morning we woke to -19 degrees. This is record setting cold. Throughout these three days, I’ve been very aware of the contrast between being “inside” and “outside”.  Whenever things happen in threes I see significance. Jesus body was cold for three days in a tomb and then there was a turnaround, a resurrection. As we sit “on ice” here in Indiana, I’ve felt God stop me as well. He’s stopped me from doing things I would normally do. Not because I couldn’t do them, but I feel no need. God is making room for me to listen and giving me His permission to stop to receive something, possibly for you.

What is put on ice will be brought out when it is needed.

As I sat on my sofa yesterday morning, I heard the wind whipping with fury against the house, as if trying to get me, yet the walls of the house surrounded me like I was a baby in the womb. It’s important to note that. There are places of security that are meant for our protection. There are dividing lines we are not meant to cross. The wall between me and the biting cold was thin, but adequate. I could see through the glass, yet it could not come in.

God’s protection is like this. Psalm 91 reads: I’ll highlight selective portions for you.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in teh shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. … He will cover you with his feathers (pinions), and under his wings you will find refuge…it will not come near you. You will look with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked… Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent…
Because he holds fast to me in love. I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.”

How mighty is God’s hand. How able he is to protect us from all harm. I want to dwell in his protection. I want to stay under his wing, so close that his shadow is over me. I will live in that place and not stray from it, will you? There are “ifs” and there are choices we make that compromise our position. God has been opening my eyes to the extremes.

In Matthew 25 Jesus explains the great divide in another way. There is a divide between those who get into the Kingdom and those who don’t. It is a matter of preparation and readiness. Ten virgins take their oil lamps and are lined up waiting for the bridegroom to come. Wherever they are, they are together, waiting for him. Just like this group of women, people will be together, seemingly all for the same purpose, to meet Jesus. Yet there were two groups of people. Five of these women were prepared; they invested ahead of time and thought about what might be required if there was a wait. The others took a risk and came with no thought of the future. They assumed that the little they had would be enough. Jesus parables are always symbolic. So what is the oil that kept the lamps burning? Lamps represent fire. The Holy Spirit came with fire in Acts. Jesus is the “light” of the world. We are like him in that we are light. Is you light burning bright? How do you sustain a spiritual fire?

We wait for a bridegroom. We must know that there will be extended times of waiting and we have to come prepared to wait upon Him. We have to have faith that he will come and prepare so we will be ready when the gate opens. One thing is certain here, five got in and five were left out.

I wonder if those five ladies filled their time with other busy things and were distracted so that they didn’t think ahead to what would be required.

I see in Jesus’s words that there is a time when we can be fill our lamps with oil so that when darkness comes, we will still be able to see.  I had a picture just now. Have you ever travelled and had to wait longer than expected? Weather delays cause missed flights and airports become crowded with people trying to sleep on the floor. The airline promises that you will get where you are going, but not when. Imagine traveling with small children. When my three boys were small, I thought ahead about what could happen if we were delayed somewhere. I packed snacks, books, and extra clothes in case they had accidents. I had Sippy cups filled with milk for when they were tired. I knew my kids and what they liked and packed those things so I would see happy faces full of joy when I pulled things out of my bag in challenging moments.  It was up to ME to prepare for those times.  If I didn’t, I could count on no one else to provide for my children when I didn’t have enough. I would just suffer their whininess. I could HOPE that someone would just give me whatever snacks they brought, but who KNOWs how long we would wait and it’s likely, that as the women with extra flasks of oil, they would save their provision for their own journey. Who knows when that plane will arrive to take us where we are going.

Jesus says to us, “Be prepared.” You can’t expect that what others have will get you in to heaven. You won’t get there because of what church you attend on Sunday. After all, these ladies all came together and seemed to be waiting for the same Bridegroom, just like we all come together to meet him.  Five were foolish. Five were wise.

When it comes times for life or death situations, we have to be prepared. How did we prepare for this crazy cold? In the short term, we made sure our chickens and ducks would be sheltered and that their water would not freeze and we cleaned the garage so the car could get inside. In the long term, many small steps of obedience in our lives prepared us for this moment so that we are not in a panic looking for shelter from the cold! We have a house and a working furnace and newer windows and food to eat. We have an emergency fund to replace the car battery that died (because I left the lights on). I am so thankful! I’m thankful that in relationship to God, he has led us to security. This is truly what the moral of this parable is. If we live in relationship all along, we will be ready when the bridegroom, Jesus, comes to invite us in.

The five who were unprepared came back after the door was shut. They begged. “Lord, lord, open to us.” But he answered, “Truly I say to you, I do not know you.”

In the middle of this frigid, deadly weather I cannot leave my doors open, the deadly cold will come in and the heat I paid for would flood out. I would lose what I’d paid for. I am in a a protected box right now, like the shelter of God’s presence. I am keenly aware that I am surrounded by his protection as I notice the walls, the floors, the ceiling and even the windows that let me see out to what is cold and icy, but block it from coming in. This house wasn’t handed to us, we paid for it over the years. What will it cost to know your Master, Jesus? Invest in that. Build a house of faith and obedience that will shelter you from the extreme cold, from the darkness that is in the world.

God is our refuge, our ever present help in time of need.  Do you know him? Does he know you? We see in the parable that Jesus doesn’t automatically accept everyone who comes, but those who got ready.  The Bible says that we are his temple, his house.  We are being built up into a spiritual house. If you find the cold leaking into your house, physically or spiritually, consider where the drafts leak in. Are you opening doors to evil you should not be? Will it take time to shut them. Do it now! Don’t find yourself entangled in worldly things when others will be celebrating with Jesus.

Here is a prayer for you….

In Jesus name, I ask you God, to choose me. Draw me to you. Your word says many are called but few are chosen, so choose me. Get me out of everywhere I have entangled myself in the world and cleanse me. No darkness will be permitted in my soul any longer. I submit myself to you and know you will take me on a journey of obedience. I’m willing to go with you. I know you are a good Shepherd and you love me like no one else can. Thank you that you will be with me in this. I choose to let go of the world, the lust of the eyes and of the flesh. Heal my emotions and rid me of self-centeredness, anger, hatred, bitterness, shame and guilt. Make me new in every way and keep me humble. If I stumble I will repent. If I fail, you will help me up, but I will not give up. You are my fortress and I will dwell with you. I will stay close to you, Jesus, and you will satisfy me like nothing else can. I long to be in the center of your love. I repent of allowing the world to take over places in my heart where you should be dwelling. Come and redeemed every part of me. Save me to the uttermost. I am yours. Fill me up Lord. Let your Spirit overwhelm me. Here I am.”

Texts for further study:
Matthew 25 – The Parable of the Ten Virgins.
Psalm 91

A song for you…  ‘I want to know you, let your Spirit overwhelm me. Let your presence overtake my heart…”

“I Want to Know You”

 

 

God Meets Us In Our Hunger

Dear hungry friends,

How hungry you are, not just hungry for food, but HUNGRY to see what God has been doing in your lives all along. It has seemed like a wilderness for such a long time but God knows what he’s doing! I felt God lead me to fast ahead of the fast and I completed my 5 day fast yesterday. That way I could encourage you all with what he was doing and give you hope in the hard moments. This will be long. You may want to soak on part of it at a time. It took two weeks for me to have all of these “aha” moments. I did a lot of waiting on God. I asked. Then I waited. Then I heard. Repeat.

God will reach us anywhere if we seek him like this, not just during the Chasing God evenings (for my Vineyard friends), but wherever we seek him with all of our hearts. God started breaking down my walls before the fast. Now, I should explain. I didn’t have an awareness that I had walls, but I did have an awareness that I was not as compelled as I have been in the past to love on people. I loved people, but I know what it felt like to flow like an unhindered river of love and it just wasn’t happening every where I went, so I was asking God why? What happened to me?

I found myself feeling vulnerable and letting it happen. I consider myself a pretty vulnerable person… but perhaps I was wrong. Love hurts you know. It hurts. I’ve loved a lot of people in some crazy, deep ways. Are they all sending flowing love back to me? Guess. Nope. They fail. But also – I fail. Yes. We all suck at times. I had a little fit about it one night.

Very early the next morning I woke to the words of the song  “You Are Not Alone”.  I got up and curled up on the couch, turned on the song and tears began to flow. I left it on repeat. I couldn’t read my Bible or do anything. I had to just sit with God and let him heal me. No matter what I did, the tears leaked. I tried doing something, so at 6:30 a.m. I sat at my jewelry making project. No creativity came. I was blank – just leaking tears out of my soul. I think years of pent up sadness were leaking out. Things I’d “gotten over” were still hurting and held on to. I began to see them and confess them. I just sat and asked God, “Come and take it. Heal me.”

I entered a fast. It wasn’t my first fast, but in this one, God let me see that I had to surrender my will. I was HUNGRY, physically, and had to pray to for him to give me the food from heaven he gave to Jesus. He did. He’s so good. This has not always been the case on previous fasts, but on this one I was in pain, literally. But, I learned there was still pain in my soul. I didn’t really know why I felt alone, or why I felt sad, but the tears came and I was thankful that God was sovereignly taking over my emotions. God washed my soul with tears on this fast. He let out the sadness and the pain I couldn’t put my finger on.

My story will be different than yours, or course. The promises of God will become real in your life if you choose to endure, even just a little while longer. Put your lives in order. Choose to be steadfast. It’s time to let go of the emotions, the fears and hand them to the Lord. It’s time to open the wells of your heart and let out what has been buried. “If you will listen to my voice,” I hear the Lord saying, “I will lead you out of the wilderness and your ministry, your new life of action with Jesus will begin.”

God led me to Matthew 4 this morning and showed me the process Jesus went through just before his ministry launched. If you need hope on your journey right now, pay attention to the  model of Jesus’s life. He is the firstborn of many brothers and sisters in the family of God.

Here’s how Jesus launched. If we are like him, joining in his suffering and growing up into the fullness of Christ, where are you in this process? 

  • He went to the wilderness with no suitcases, no defenses, vulnerable and dependent.
  • He chose to live by every word that God spoke – no food for the flesh.
  • He went where there were no distractions, but the devil, of course.
  • At the end, Jesus decidedly declared to satan,
    “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.”
  • The devil left.
  • Angels came to minister to him.
  • He went to Capernum. He began to fulfill the prophesies over his life.
  • He began his life message, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
  • He selected his new family of brothers. This would grow as more believed.
  • God had prepared them also, and they left all to join him.
  • Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
Don’t run from the process – Embrace it.

I share my story so you can know you are not alone and to help you YIELD to what God wants to do in you at this time. How did this start? In the last two weeks things have been “bubbling up” that I didn’t know were in me. I started paying attention to what triggered me. Things I thought I didn’t struggle with anymore were happening again. Yet what I realized was that there were remnants. God is looking for a remnant. (That’s a little pun for my praying friends 🙂 A holy remnant, so he’s bringing up our own remnants and showing us why they have been stuck there, behind our walls. This post is a testimony of some of the key things that bubbled up inside of me before and during the fastHere are the things that have welled up inside of me through this fast, and then, how I saw Jesus through them.

1) I realized something and confessed it…I had a longing  to be loved by people I love. I wanted to be loved back.

God showed me that Jesus didn’t get that for a season either. He still doesn’t get that from us in the way he longs for. In the Garden he asked his friends to pray and keep watch but they fell asleep while he interceded for himself to the point of sweating blood. When the soldiers came and as he hung on the cross his friends didn’t want to suffer with him. They could not let go of their fleshly lives. On the cross, while he hung there for others who were dying in their sin, he was alone. Have you felt alone? Know that Jesus understands.

2) Loyalty 

God spoke the word “loyalty” to me. What did he want to teach me about that?  How did I handle when people weren’t loyal? I hurt. I just hurt. I got over things, but I was made in the image of God and I was a jealous for the affections of my children. I let that out. I shared that I was hurt. I sobbed in front of my family and let them comfort me. Yes, there was some self-pity in there. It was a little ugly and selfish, but I needed to be known. Have you ever felt like that? Have you longed to feel known?

When I got it out, I was clear and I could hear. Then I realized I was not loyal either. I had been a bad friend on so many occasions. How many times had I grieved God when I passed a hurting person or said a harsh word. I repented to him and to my family. But it’s not all bad. God feels like I feel, but he loves anyway. God reminded me of Hosea and how he showed us his nature as a jealously in love God. God is jealous for us and we are made IN HIS IMAGE. He is jealous for you, for your loyalty and your love. We are so like him. Think about how he feels about you. He just wants you for his own. He wants your full attention, for you to be FULLY PRESENT and FULLY ENGAGED with him like a couple newly in love who have eyes only for each other. They can sit on the couch all night and be content because it just matters that they are together. That’s how our loving Daddy holds us in his heart. I love that kind of love. I was reminded that we love, because he first loved us. That’s what makes it work.

Of course we want loyalty, but we have to love unconditionally, like Jesus did, even when all those flee or just are too busy.

What stops that? Then God reminded me of the principle of judgement. When we have a judgement, it affects how we love the people we judge. It stops the flow of love and power. In addition to that, we have to be love conscious and not enemy conscious. Our enemy is not people. They know not what they do. The stumble around in disappointment wondering if God sees them, but if we see like Him, we will know their pain, that they long just to be loved and for something they can hold on to so they can rest. We are an unfaithful people, disloyal in so many ways.

3) God has emotions. We can have emotions and we can let them out.

Jesus wept.  Jesus is the exact likeness of the invisible God. If Jesus weeps, our Father weeps, his emotions come forth. He created us with all the emotions he has but he has no walls so he lets them out.

If he’s a jealous God he has emotion. He has longing. We see from the story of the Lost Son in Luke 15 that the Father saw his son from afar he broke down and ran. He RAN to him. No matter what his son had done, the longing in the Father’s heart was for him to return.

He needed his son home because he was a part of him. We are a part of God. His breath is our breath and he misses us when we are far away in a distant land. “Come home,” he says to us. I feel the pain of the Father in the story of the Prodigal Son as I imagine what it was like in the years his son was gone.  Can you feel the sobbing heart of the father as he sees the empty place at the dinner table, he’s crying inside… “come home”. Just come home.  Our father loves us that much. Nothing can stop him from embracing you when you come to him, even if your expectation are low, even if you expect just to be a servant, Papa God says… “NO! You are my SON! Bring him the best robe! Put a ring on his finger! Give him new sandals. Celebrate, MY SON is home.”

4) If you feel you have fallen short…

God has been freeing me of limitations I have put on myself, AND of the feeling of obligation. What I have felt like I have’t been able to do, God has been doing for me. I have only understood in part and grieved about what I could not know. This is why God says, “Be anxious for NOTHING but in EVERYTHING give thanks.” It’s hard to do that when we want to know when and how and why, isn’t it? He showed me last month that the seeds of prayer that I planted were in good soil. As I saw this in a vision, tears began to flow. Tears of thanks. Those tears fell on the soil and the seeds grew into beautiful sunflowers.

Post fast – Today God showed me HOW he had been filling in the gaps when I felt like I was not getting all the things done that I wanted to see done through my life.  I sobbed this morning as I saw the visions and dreams and words and prophesies come together in the form of a timeline, all interlinked. Revelation and understanding started flooding my spirit! The pieces began to come together all at once so I could see his goodness! God is alive and real and working on your behalf. He shows us the dreams of his heart but not all the details. I suppose this is so we will learn to trust him. Has he whispered that to you lately, “Do you trust me?’

5) We are one Body with many parts. You don’t have to do it all.

We are ONE BODY. Have you been doing your part? Have you wondered if you were? If you have been obedient in the moment to God, then be encouraged. He’s been working on the bigger plans and the house is being built. You may have felt like something had to be done, but you didn’t get to do it.

Sometimes we think what we see is our assignment. As an intercessor, I used to get really hung up on this. I’d see things and think I had to do them all. Thank God – NO! I was to pray them into being. Sometimes they were mine, but I wasn’t to carry the load of all that I saw needed to be done. As a mom, I feel that way too at times. No – we’re a family and families work together. Thankfully, God’s got resources and gives grace. He knows we are human. I have longed to write a book but have had many other things that seemed to get in the way. I was feeling like I missed the mark on that, but it wasn’t coming together.

Was it my time? As I write I am sitting with a book my dear sister in Christ wrote. I just came out! Her first book! It’s full of testimonies of miracles and how they flowed. Her journal entries are like many of mine. I felt such relief as I read it and thanks! I just kept thanking Holy Spirit for giving her those words. Yes, I could have written a book, but I could use her book on this topic to do so much! She did her part and I can do my part! I was so excited ( I write more about the story below.) What if God may have been using someone else who had time to accomplish the work you would have like to have done while you were doing what was in front of you. Let them get the credit for the good work. It’s ok. Let go of YOUR need to be known or to be celebrated. If you have been walking on the path with Jesus, then rest easy. What you have been doing matters to God. What matters is that people come to Jesus.

4) You are not unknown by God – A Picture of Intimacy with Holy Spirit

I know this is a lot of writing, so I ask you to take a deep breath before you read this part.

Pause….

Don’t be impatient. Breath in and out, relax, let your body go limp for a minute and invite the Holy Spirit to come. Wait for him. 

Now, read this word and meditate on it. 

Job 33:4 “The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”

He is close. He is as near as your breath and is your breath. As your breath goes in and out of you, picture that breath as the presence of God, a cycle of how he works.

Breathe in…. and he is with you. He hears the whispers of your heart.

Then, breath out. He goes out carrying those prayers and making them happen.

He is an intimate God. He is a personal God. Your spirit is one with His Spirit. He says you are one, but YOUR connection to God is unique, because half of is YOUR DNA. One body, but many combinations of amazing uniqueness.

He hears every thought and knows you intimately. Even as we breath out, not all the air leaves. His presence, like oxygen stays in our lungs, keeps us alive while he works on our behalf.

As you inhale, He quickly comes back in, because we need more of him to live. This is the life cycle of our connection with the Holy Spirit. It is what keeps us alive. Remain in him. Take him in. Release some of him. Get more of him. We can’t live without that next breath and when we hold it in, if we TRY to hold it in, eventually we pass out, don’t we! We think we can hold back, but God just chuckles, I’m sure. Like a kid who threatens to hold his breath, we keep working to control our environment…Yet a wise parent with experience says, “Go ahead! I wonder how long you can hold it?!”  Like this child, who will eventually pass out and start breathing again so the breathing, the intimacy with God, can resume. No, we can’t fight intimacy with God, like we can’t fight breathing.

Today I listened to the song “He Knows Your Name”, thanking Holy Spirit over and over again for my friend’s book and the miracles recorded in it. The tears began to flow again. I saw all that my Papa had been working on to help the Kingdom grow through my connection with my sister, through her friends, and the through the people I had been ministering too and with. He knows my name. It doesn’t matter if anyone else does. 🙂 My Papa knows my name. He sees me. I don’t care who else affirms me or recognizes me; I only want to fulfill his purposes and see my Papa smile. I realize that that is all the affirmation I need.

My prayer this week has been “Deliver me from evil.” Now, at the end of this fast I pray, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Let it be so, Lord. Let it be so. Amen.

I hear this word from the Lord for you…

“Walk with me on the journey. I will enlighten your soul. I am coming to rescue you. I have seen and heard your heart and I have been fulfilling my promises. Don’t lose faith in Me, the Lord says. Don’t lose faith! No eye has seen, no ear has heard what God has prepared for those who love him and who are called according to his purposes.

For those you have been praying for, remember your own conversion. Remember how it happened. If you haven’t really given your life, now is the time! Give is ALL. Give all that you are, all that you have, all of you! That is what you will pass on to others, because, you see, that you will receive more if you surrender more. That is what you have to pass on to others, to your family. What you sow, you will reap. Not just the bad, but the good. Your children will inherit the good as well. You have chosen me and that example is your testimony. Lead by example and establish what your children will inherit, your physical children and your spiritual children. It will be like day and night. As quickly as night ends and day comes, what we’ve hoped for will happen.

Was what lost, will be found.  (Luke 15)

How do I know? Because God reminded of how it happened for me One day, long ago, I woke up in the pig pen and said, “What am I doing? This isn’t working for me?” I had been resistant, willfully resistant, because I hadn’t tasted and seen yet. I knew nothing else but what I’d experienced. But at that point, I had nothing left. I was empty and needed something more, so I said YES to an invitation that changed my life. I said YES. And in an instant, resistance left and I was a new person who God filled with purpose and hope.

REMEMBER! Remember your testimony. Remember other testimonies. That is how quickly God can move in the ones you love and for those you have HOPED for. Don’t worry a minute longer, just keep extending invitations. God will do the work in their hearts as they see where they are sitting.  Rejoice, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. 

God is putting the pieces together for me today and it is bringing me such joy that I can’t hold back the sobs. “This is true worship.. Your life is your worship to God. When you fully yield to all of yourself to him, and let go of all of your pride, you will find him. I pray you will see how intimately connected all things are and how he has been working on your behalf from the moment of the cross. Let your joy be complete.

God has been working in us to show us our need for him. When we truly see our need, there will be worship that will attract the host of heaven and the glory of God. We will see like never before who our God is. Our beautiful, amazing, incredible God, who loves us like a Papa loves his babies and fights for them to the death.

From “You Know My Name”…

“…I’m walking in your victory, because your power is within me, no giant can defeat me, because YOU hold my hand. I don’t have to be afraid anymore.. YOU hold my hand! I’m so in love with you. I’m so in love with you!”

In Christ,
Anne Huffman, Daughter of God

Testimony of JOY: 

God will remind you of what he has shown you and show you what he has been doing. Years ago I had an encounter with God. He showed me an open blank book. I didn’t know what to do with it or why he showed it to me. I always assumed I was to write it. He said, “Pour  my blood on these pages.” Around that time, God was beginning to teach me about miracles and healing. I was getting so hungry for him. I journaled all that I saw and how it happened at that time. I was seeing the power of God in so many ways that I was just wrecked over and over again. I was so expectant and wanted to teach others how to live in the supernatural ways of God.

Then, we came to a new church and life got different. I really didn’t know how to fit in.  My life of street ministry and women’s prayer groups changed. It’s like moving to a new town and trying to figure it out. My husband went on staff as a pastor and I jumped into intercession for him and church. That’s who I am, an intercessor. I stand in the gap for people. Who were these people? I stretched and grew in new and different ways. My dreams of a book were set aside. There were people who needed deep healing, kids who needed teaching, a pastor husband and the church to pray for and it took TIME. In the doing and praying, there was little time for writing. I used to write all these cool testimonies of miracles and healing in my family journal. I never knew where to share them. I had some amazing stories in the works, but they were yet unfinished.

I felt guilty at times that I did not write that book. Was I disobedient? The accuser did a number on me at times. But, I could not turn away from the people in front of me who needed my attention, and then my family who needed more of my time too, and then our homeless guys we helped, who I wanted to keep loving on called me. My journal of testimonies got dusty. I just couldn’t write it down anymore. I wasn’t living anxiety about this.. I didn’t think… I knew I had to do what I was doing each moment. I’m pretty prayerful about my days.

This morning, God opened up a picture of a timeline to me and I saw how years ago he put someone in my life to walk with, a sister of my soul. We talked of writing often but neither of us had anything published yet. This week I learned that she had been putting all her journal entries together and published a book and now it was in front of me! I have a book in m hand by my dear sister’s name on it called “My Supernatural Life”. I felt such joy! Such joy! It was like holding her close and feeling known all at the same time.

We have this picture that we are like an Oreo. Two parts divided by the state line and about 35 miles.

Her book is so raw and simple. It’s just her journal, much like mine in some ways, but with different experiences and according to our unique place in life. She explains things with clarity though, each encounter is filled with detail so you can understand. Isn’t that what we all want, to be understood?

As I read her book of amazing testimonies of miracles, and of one mission we did together, I went back to MY journal and reread some of the amazing testimonies I’d recorded too. Two sides of the same story! Something started to well up in me and I understood something. What I hadn’t been able to do in writing all these testimonies down, God was beginning to accomplish through my sister!  There were things I always wanted to do and explain to people and she had done that. Relief filled my heart as  thought of all the people I could share this with who would understand ME better through HER writing. It would help train up those I was helping along the path.

I remembered that in Christ we were one body. My sister was doing what I couldn’t do while I had another purpose. Tears started to flow and I felt a sob welling up in my soul. What I dreamed of, she had done. I was so relieved. I saw how all the parts were coming together and what I could do now that my heart had been revealed through her words. There were like experiences, and new experiences, and things I have always wanted to put into words for people.

I thought of all the people who she sought out to teach her, some I knew and some I didn’t, and over the years, many of us sought each other out for knowledge and faith that could only come by sharing the testimony. Those were food for our soul!

Now, God is bringing us together in a movement. Some of us have felt stuck but God is saying “Come up here. It’s time for you to get out of the little place you’ve been holding up in and working. It’s ok to get out of the life raft and onto the boat. Tears well up as I write this. Jesus said, “Make my joy complete by being like minded, being one in Spirit and of one mind.” Philippians 2:2

Book Link: “My Supernatural Life” by Lisa Beth Adams