I have neglected what I've been gifted to do for Christ. To write what I hear Him saying. So here I am having not written since February. That's 6 months. Half a year. In other words...way too long. I've been carrying heaviness much of the latter part of this week & tonight I laid it down & listened closely while my heart emptied itself at His feet. I just sat there with Him. Making sure I knew that He was as close as my heart beat. So tender & just is He. As I asked about the children being innocently murdered in Iraq...my question was WHY? He quickly answered "They are no less dear to my heart than the millions of children murdered every year in America." I could hear the hurt as He spoke & the absolute disgust about the topic. He cares for the children...All of His children. Not the ones we chose to keep but those who are thrown away like the weekly garbage. Those that are neglected so parents can fulfill their fleshly desires. He asks me "What about those children? Will you pray for them? Will you grieve for their souls too as you do those in Iraq?" I was humbled. I was ever so gently & lovingly rebuked. Wake up America. Wake up...what have we tolerated for so long that we no longer are grieved about? Why does it take a visual representation on the news to stir our hearts to pray for His purpose. Why are we not more eager to pray until breakthrough? Instead I have been guilty of watching the news & not handling the fear that started to sneak in. I am guilty of not immediately handing it back to Him & letting Him direct me how to pray sooner. This country needs the prayer warriors to stand up. We need the complacent to get really uncomfortable & to seek His face for their reason to be alive. As I opened my bible I turned by chance to 2 Samuel 22. Verse 5 jumped out at me "When the waves of death surround me, The floods of ungodliness made me afraid." That's it. That's the ticket. I've allowed what's going on in the world to make me afraid but instead of addressing it. I somehow internalized it & that brings confusion. I remember as a little girl if I was afraid, wounded, or hurt tears were my natural response. Now I have to search for those tears. Work through the emotions I often think I'm feeling but indeed it's the deep desire to weep. To weep because I don't know & sometimes things plain old hurt. I can't tell the future but I know in whom my future is secure. I'm learning to not hesitate so long. To release it even when it's childlike tears because I'm scared. I was comforted as I read on in 2 Samuel 22 to verse 7"In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry entered His ears." Yes...when we worship(which was done in the temple towards God) His ears are opened & He hears me. He hears you. David was speaking of God's deliverance from Saul & his enemies through His prayers & as he prayed that "The earth shook & trembled; the foundations of heaven quaked and were shaken, Because He was angry." Verse 9 "Smoke went up from His nostrils, and devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it." Verse 10 " He bowed the heavens also, and came down with darkness under His feet." Chapter 22 goes on to explain how God intervened for David, His beloved. Friends that is our God too! He hears as we pour out our hearts. Are you heavy laden? His burden is easy & His yoke is light...because He carries the burden of the load. He says "Give it to me! Give me what scares you & know that just like I did for David I will handle your enemies swiftly. You are my beloved. I hear your humble heart cry out for Me to intervene & I shall call you up to rest here with Me. Will you? Will you make it habit to spend this time with Me? Will you not hold on to thoughts so long?" You can trust Him. He gives peace that the world hasn't known. His will is to impart the Kingdom of Heaven through you, through me. I have procrastinated with the best of them, no longer. The world is wide open & in desperate need. We must continue to dig deeper. To sit before Him & let His love perfect us. You know doubting doesn't cease to exist until we believe Him. So like a child I will sit in expectation that what He said He will do. I don't have to be afraid, not ever. This is how faith establishes it's roots deep within the soil of our hearts. This is how we are taught how to love like Jesus. How to be obedient to His nudge. The world needs you. More than anything the world needs us to walk in His truth. Sons & Daughters of the Living God, all of heaven is waiting on You! Trust Him. He is a faithful Father...I call on His name and He hears me...boy does that bring this weary heart comfort tonight.
I asked for more of Jesus. To partake in His sufferings. To be given a heart to love like Him. To see with His eyes. To walk like Him & to take on His likeness. What I didn't expect. What they forget to tell you is that the rain will come, the wind will blow against your house, the hail will be so hard you think the roof might come down. No one told me the storm would rage all around me like it has. No one told me the affliction that would visit & make it's home with me. No one told me that the only way compassion is birthed is through the experience of loss. No one told me how lonely I would feel or how I would question my Savior the way I have I ashamedly admit. No one told me that the fire would get so hot that my only thoughts would be whirling around escape. No one told me that when I asked for more of Jesus that it came at such a high cost. No one mentioned the tangible pain that would visit so regularly for seasons on end. But can I be the one to tell you that it's all worth it. That no scheme of hell could intimidate this warrior. You see what I can tell you is only those who are willing to die truly live. What I can tell you is who you think you are is a shadow of who you are in Him. I can confidently tell you that you will not be utterly forsaken. What I will shout is His arm is not too short that it can not reach out to you. His ear not to deaf to hear your cry. I declare right now that you will move forward & walk out from that wilderness. I declare that the gift of His fire will leave you pure & spotless before the King. I speak the overflowing power of Yeshua course through your very blood supply & that your heartbeat be a reminder of His watch over your every move. I declare that fire fall & you endure until He has completed His work in you...
If there is to be fruit in my life…I must completely die to self so that what is resurrected in the passing of my flesh (my way, my distorted thoughts, my strongholds) is truly BEAUTY for ashes.(Isaiah 61:3) For it is the Living Water provided in Jesus Christ that causes me to BLOOM in fullness & bear fruit, not for my glory but for the Father's alone. Pain often visits fruit bearers in the early days & unexpected times when we get complacent . Not to hurt us but to inflict enough disturbance that the hidden dark places of the heart are revealed & pruned away. I will tell you the way I have come to understand my Daddy God. When I am betrayed & have every reason to justifiably be hurt, He says my child forgive. I toss back & forth saying BUT what about me? He lovingly says I know baby, I saw it all, I've seen everything that's happened & I still ask you to come higher. The ways of the Kingdom are beyond the ways of the world. To be a fruit bearer you must absolutely die to the way your flesh desires to respond. God sees. He knows. He cares & for our good He still calls us to raise our standard to His. He doesn't change. He can't. He would be a liar if He justified our hurting & our tendency to hold onto hurts(that only hinder us in the end). No God in all circumstances sticks to His WORD no matter what has come to visit us in the wilderness & HE uses it to train us, if we will allow it. He prepares us for war against the enemy by using our trials for our good. You want to soar? You want to punch the devil in the face & makes sure he doesn't forget you? Then raise up, seek God for every move you make & by all means forgive, love, walk in peace, put to death your flesh.. Just like any lover, God(the lover of your soul) is jealous for ALL of you, your complete entirety, the deepest places you weren't aware of. The secret places you've worked tirelessly for years to cover up only to bear bad fruit such as anger, gossip, lying to keep up the dance that nothing is wrong. I'm here to encourage you to let His fiery love burn you in such a way that you are never the same, I encourage you to visit the most painful places & let the Living Water be poured into the dead, desolate places so that you are replacing all the lies of shame, guilt, worthlessness with TRUTH & you begin to BLOOM. He comes to declare you as His own, to place His seal over you heart. Don't be afraid of the wilderness…it's there you meet HIM up close & personal. He is the only one who WILL. EVER. TRULY. SATISFY. P.S...I'm beginning to see the most beautiful fruit come to life inside & I'm hell bent on teaching whoever will listen how God can do the same for you...
"Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame."~Song of Solomon 8:6
It took very little time to choose my word for 2014. Matter of fact all it took was stopping to think of what I desired to conquer in the coming year. The word that immediately came to mind & resonated deeply within was Authentic. I above all desire to be authentically happy, authentic in joy, and authentic when I love, authentic in worship, authentic in prayer. I want to conquer being distracted away from what truly matters. I have a mind that goes a hundred miles a minute. Constantly thinking. I want my mind to rest. To rest in simply being who God made me to be in all it's simplicity. I desire to be a powerhouse full of the Holy Spirit in 2014. I desire to be true to His will for my life. I refuse to focus on anything the world is selling & set my eyes alone on HIM. I want more revelation, visions, dreams, and intimacy with my Savior in 2014. This quote from Henry Ward Beecher really speaks to my heart right now& embodies much of how I'm feeling. I'm looking towards heaven & spreading JESUS to the world. May I be a sweet fragrance that lingers everywhere I've been. May my words be seasoned with love leaving a indelible mark. I want to focus on the glorious future of the Saints of God. I refuse to be melancholy, anxious, or impatient about what God has in store for me. I believe we are entering into the greatest time in history for the church! I am digging deeper in preparation and I can't wait.
"There are apartments in the soul which have a glorious outlook, from those windows you can see across the river of death into the shining city beyond. But how often are those neglected for the lower ones, which have earthward looking windows."Henry Ward Beecher
"But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.15 Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.16 To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?" 2 Corinthians 2:14-16
I feel compelled to write, lots to say. December has made it's way back to my life once again. I remember the roller coaster of my daddy's battle with cancer was nearing it's end this time two years ago. I learned a lot about myself & about God that year leading up to now. I'm not jaded at all, I've had the privilege to see the heart of God because of the despair I faced in his untimely death. To be honest when we all got news of his terminal illness I was pretty confident that God could & would heal my dad on this earth. I fasted because at that time I thought my fasting(going without food, just drinking juice & water)would somehow move God to answer my prayers for my daddy. Bare with me here. I also thought if I could give a big enough offering($$$) that God would honor my gift. I prayed, I cried, I prayed, then i cried some more but most of all I was changed.
I don't want to come across the wrong way at all with what I'm saying but I'm saying is that God is God and for a time I thought that He could be moved by what I did. I really wanted to believe it too, I did nothing short of beg Him. With everything in me, I begged. I would have done whatever He asked me to but you know what? He didn't ask. I can tell you what He did do. Despite all my "doings" for the Lord. He came & He literally walked beside me. When I cried, He cried. When I was devastated He sat & He held me. He was a not genie in a bottle & He didn't make my trial magically "go away"but He did "come" and He "dwelled" with me, He still does.
What my heart is crying out is this. We can not earn, work, perform, achieve, perfect, etc. enough good deeds to reach Him. He's not waiting for you & I to do anything but to turn our hearts towards Him. Grace hit me square in the face when this all took place. It hit me so hard in fact that every ounce of religion that had been planted for years since my birth was rattled, shaken, turned on it's head. You see man made religion has done a number on who God is & what He wants. To be quite honest I think they've really done a pretty good job of running off those whose life don't have a lot of "good" in them. Had God not been so persistent in loving me & faithfully pursuing me, I may have been another number. I remember hearing well if your faith was big enough. That stung me to the core. Cause trust me I had mustered all the faith I could find at that point & it wasn't enough. Losing my daddy has been the single most devastating thing I've lived through up until now. I experienced more than I had anticipated and because of it December will never be the same for me.
I see the sacredness & beauty of Christmas, of the celebration of Jesus coming into a graceless world. Of fighting to shake things up & to dismantle the law. He alone threw grace on the scene & it took me until my adulthood to grasp the magnitude of the simplicity of what He had done. I have very little care for the gifts, the frill, the commercialization of it all. I remember that Christmas Eve, I remember saying our last goodbyes that morning when he took his last breath and strangely going home that evening(at the suggestion of family) to try and make Christmas as normal as possible for my children(what a joke). I think I still have issues with us all going home to handle losing daddy, alone. But I wasn't alone. HE was there, He has always been there. I just had to choose to rest in faith that He loved me & had me in the palm of His hand.
I write this to tell you the law was abolished because a baby was born in a manger, grew to be a man, and full of innocence died not just for my sin but to reconcile me fully to God. No more separation, the veil was torn from the top down to prove NO MAN could have obtained what Jesus did. That's grace. That's why it's eludes most of us because we can't make sense of it. It's undeserved. The harder you work for it the more disillusioned you become. God doesn't require your money, your service, your words, your sweat to bless you. It makes little to no sense to me when I hear people make big deals out of money,trust me God doesn't need your money, He simply desires that you not serve it, He longs for us to be generous & to give when He says give. Whether it be paying for groceries at the grocery store for a momma who has her hands full, or paying for someones gas at the quick stop, you get the drift. God wants us to be generous & Spirit led. Most of the church may disagree with me but that's what I learned. I know also that grace is for EVERYONE. God sees hearts. It's that simple.
Don't let anyone convince you that you must do anything other than trusting God in faith that He alone by way of Jesus can save you. Don't let anyone convince you that you have to "work" a single second for your salvation because it's simply not true. In losing my daddy I gained a greater understanding of God's unconditional love & grace. I spent years thinking I had to "do" to get to Him when all along He wanted me to just "be" and rest in Him. I hope this holiday season you do too…
My hearts been heavy. God has been pulling me closer, taking me deeper. Teaching me about quiet time & prayer. I've been praying the scriptures. I let it take me into worship and recount the scriptures back out loud with worship laced into the Word. It's changing my life. I'm hearing clearer than before. I felt lead to share about it today. As I prayed Isaiah 64 and repeated verse one and asked God to rend the heavens, tear open the heavens and come down. Make Yourself known to us. As I was expressing all that God has been to me, I was especially touched as I kept reading into Isaiah 65. That's when He began to speak through the scriptures saying
"I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said 'Here am I, here am I,' To a nation which did not call my name. I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in the way which is not good following their own thoughts."Isaiah 65:1-2
Then I began to have a vision. I heard Him say you are a grace dealer, I will show you now. I see myself eagerly & urgently running towards the crowd of people. I see myself handing something out, looks like balloons. Grace is written on them, I am giving them to everyone who will take it. Many are resistant. They look at me with reservation. They think who is this stranger? I don't want that silly balloon. They see it as useless, unneeded. There are so many people, I am getting lost in the crowd. I see above the crowd now, I am seeing far above the crowd. I am the only one handing out these grace covered balloons. People are too busy to stop. I am aware that I am a tiny piece of a much larger puzzle. I am looking around in circles handing out these balloons...no one sees me.
This is what I hear next. My people reject Me. I am right before their eyes yet they can't see Me. I see the fires, the battles, the trials that seem they might be the end of them. And I wait, with wide open arms I wait. Help Me gather them together. Tell them of My great love for them. How I long to give them rest, How I desire above all to walk with them. To give them abundant life. I want them to make a decision. To stop trying to marry Me up with the world. I don't share. I am a jealous God. I want entire hearts not just small portions. I want a full time commitment not part time, every now & then visits. Am I Your everything as you say? Show Me. Spend time with Me. Let Me be the lead. Come NOW to Me, dwell amongst Me. I will be Your God and you will be My people...
I encourage you to read the entirety of Isaiah 64 & 65.
Spoken as it was given to me. I don't take what He says lightly. Crazy as it may seem. I write what I hear from His heart to yours.
Today I want to address secrets. You know the things we pray no one ever finds out. I'm no stranger to secret keeping. Matter of fact I've experienced tormenting dreams of being found out, dysfunctional coping mechanisms, and down right fear of shame or embarrassment in my past. What I find relieving & full of hope is confession. You see once I confessed my "secrets" the enemy of my soul no longer had an avenue to get to me. He functions only out of darkness & keeping a deep, hidden secret is exactly that...darkness. What I find very interesting in scripture is the instruction to "confess your sins to one another" in James 5:16...
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.~James 5:16
Here we find the solution for many of the things that hinder us & ultimately make many of us sick. Physically, emotionally, or mentally sick. Secrets kill & rob us from living a life full of freedom. Let me explain how. Something happens in our life either from poor choices or things outside our control. The enemy first will guilt us & fear us into thinking that if we are "found out" we will suffer rejection, embarrassment and shame. That we are alone, weird, and worthless. All things none of us want to experience for any amount of time. We were made for acceptance & love not rejection & hate. So first we become guilty. Then over time we become tormented & reminded of that secret by the enemy because he is an accuser of the brethren, the one standing day & night before the Father bringing all our faults to mind. So now we become complacent. This secret begins to manifest itself in our behaviors & we often begin to build a wall around that place in our heart, that way the secret stays hidden safe from being discovered. But in the mean time we have lost apart of our trust and vulnerability and that my friends is the end place of bondage. We become prisoners of our own mistakes. And because we are prisoners we ultimately become slaves. Slaves to our past, to our hurts, and to the wickedness of the enemy. Chances are because you are a slave you attempt to enslave those around you by judging, accusing, and labeling them. It's simply because you are a slave & are subject to a slave mentality. Freedom is far from your heart & mind and you are stuck.
BUT there is HOPE!!! Here's where it gets good friends. Confession seems intimidating to most & unnecessary to some. But the truth is as long as we're holding on to something that needs to come out it will do more harm than good. I don't suggest just telling anyone. Matter of fact I would pray & ask God to lead you to someone you can trust. Someone who will support you, speak truth, and pray for you. Be careful who you entrust with such tender issues. Releasing the burden of holding secrets inside is a healing all it's own. Healing comes from confession. It's that simple. God can't invade a place with walls unless you let Him in. What, if anything is hiding inside & needs to be confessed to someone who can love you & point you to Jesus? I personally have been completely released & freed when I finally told someone I trusted something I had kept secret from everyone around me. My husband is that person. It not only freed be but opened up a door for him to release things he may had been afraid to tell too. It allowed God to come right in the middle of our marriage & draw us closer to one another. For you it may be a counselor, a mentor, or a friend. I'm not talking about dredging up the past and sharing things that are unnecessary. I'm talking about the things that keep you up at night. That alter your vulnerability & trust with others. Release anything the enemy routinely uses against you to bring you shame or unworthiness and then pray with one another. We are in this together! We need each other. The prayers of the righteous are powerful & effective! Prayer works. Confession is precious when done with a fellow believer who will lift you up by praying. Expect results!
Be encouraged that God desires us to love without limits. Say a prayer tonight, meditate on God's Word, and begin to make the steps to be freed from the prison that secrets have built around you. The only thing stopping you now...is you!
Blessings sweet readers! So thankful to pour out my heart in hopes it will help someone else!