Monday, November 8, 2010

In Need of His Grace

A couple of weeks ago I began to feel that overwhelming, nagging, irritable, impatient, frustrated thing that signals grief is knocking at the door.  If I don't give myself to extra time with the Lord when I recognize it, it threatens to disrupt the delicate balance of life.  I know this about myself and have seen the patterns enough now to know how to respond.  Generally, the longer I try to keep it at bay, the stronger it grows.  The only way to move through it a little more swiftly is to embrace it and let the emotions out before the Healer of my soul. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was trying just to make it through the day intact with full intentions on getting before God and not just going to sleep hoping I would wake up better.  But just as it goes, many times, once the dust of the day has settled and I am available for this mini breakdown; it disappears.  I have often felt like saying...ok God, here we are and NOW there's nothing.  When I have the time to work through emotions, that's when they take a siesta.

God is so good and I sense a stirring and drawing towards Him that I haven't in a while.  It's so good.  I know there is something to be said for being faithful regardless, but it's so good to run hard WHILE you hear Him calling.  What's odd is that I hear Him calling me to a season of discipline, correction and instruction.  I love that it matters less what He's calling me to, but just THAT He is calling!  He disciplines for our good that we might share in His holiness.  After being trained by it, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. 

So in the midst of feeling like I'm entering a good season in some ways spiritually, I can't help that I've already counted down a few times until January 1 and felt like that's when I will fully be in the clear in crossing yet another mile stone; the second anniversary of Scott's death.  Inevitably (and even fondly, but painfully so) I am remembering the lasts, and all that followed this season two years ago. 

While I'm "ok" today, I want to ask for prayer for myself and Scott's parents and siblings over the next few weeks.  I know when grief is more present and I'm in the thick of it, it isn't very likely that I will ask.  Please ask the Lord to be near, that His unfailing love would be our comfort.  Psalm 119:76 

Thank you

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sensitive Hearing

I rarely get to sleep later than 7am. Usually, my son is up pretty early and greets me if I don’t set the alarm. My aunt spent the night with us this past Tuesday night and offered to wake up with the kids in the morning. This usually doesn’t work because I still hear them. The kid’s rooms are downstairs, and my room is in an open loft upstairs, so it doesn’t take much. In an effort to take advantage of her offer, I slept with ear plugs in. Somewhere around 3am, I found myself at the top of the stairs with Eliya at the bottom. I asked her what she was doing and she told me she had to go potty. Of course the bathroom is right next to her room, but I suppose ascending the stairs to tell me first makes perfect sense to an almost 4 year old at 3 o’clock in the morning. I helped her to the potty and back to bed, and then I returned to my bed… ear plugs still in.

I lay there wondering at the fact that I didn’t even have a cognitive thought of hearing a child and choosing to get out of the bed. My first memory is being awake at the top of the stairs knowing I heard one of my children. It’s amazing that God has wired mothers like that. My effortless, less than conscious response to the faintest sound of my child is automatic and responsive. I immediately asked my Father to make my spirit that sensitive to His voice. I long for my spiritual ears and eyes to be so set on the One who sits enthroned in heaven. Samuel’s response to the Lord was “speak Lord, for your servant is listening”1 Sam 3: 9-10. Even now Lord, I ask that you would awaken my spirit to Yours! Speak Lord…and help me to listen!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Life is like a mortar and pestle

Life is like a mortar and pestle

I got to go to parts of the Glory of Intercession conference last weekend at IHOP Atlanta. As I mentioned in the previous post, my heart was heavy and I wasn’t “feeling it”. I went anyway because besides knowing I needed it, I had already paid. The first service in, Corey Russell was talking about how we have to get our minds set on heavenly things. Often what God does for me or says to me is not what is going on corporately. I remember a few verses really stood out to me amid other topics that were being taught on. I kept hearing Colossians 3:1 "Set your mind on things above where Christ is seated". It struck me as he mentioned when the disciples asked him how to pray, Jesus immediately responded with “our father in heaven YOUR name is holy!” It was as though the Holy Spirit was highlighting to me come up here.

I went feeling overwhelmed, stressed, strained and pretty well maxed out emotionally. Billy Humphrey got up and started making some declarations in the spirit. Two things he said that seemed to break the delicately balanced emotional wall I was trying hard to maintain were; that the season of widowhood was over and a bruised reed he would not crush, but that in fact he would blow on that reed until it was set ablaze.

At those declarations, I lost it. So I said, Ok Lord, You keep saying “come up here” where YOU are. What is it that I’m supposed to see? I imagined that I was with God as a friend and we were looking down together on my kids and me. Then the image of this little mortar and pestle I have popped into my head. I know that you use this in cooking, among other things. I looked up the words and in the Latin; the mortar is the “receptacle for pounding" and the pestle means “pounder”. So there we are… me the mortar and God, life, the enemy… the “pounder”. The only time I have ever seen one used was by Scott in the kitchen while making pesto. You place the herb and then crush it, releasing the fragrance and flavor; after it is crushed you add olive oil to it. When I saw this image while at IHOP, I knew what God was saying. I felt like God was asking if I would agree with His heart in the crushing process. I also felt like He said He would release the aroma of Christ through this very crushing.  All of life in this earthly tent is about perspective.  His is the only perspective that matters, so I want to know what He is doing!

To know that God sees me and hears my cry changes everything. To know that I am not forgotten. To know that these pains will produce the aroma of Christ. To know that momentary and light affliction is producing a weight of glory far beyond comparison. To know that I can partner with and agree with the heart of God on this matter of crushing. YES JESUS! Always YES.

I can’t describe the weight that lifted (the weight lifted far before the puffy eyes went down). Day two at the conference, I had the kids with me all day. Many things didn’t go right. I didn’t get to hear the majority of the morning service because Simeon was terrified of a screaming kid in childcare area. They took a short late nap, which caused me to miss the afternoon service. We had to leave before night service preaching started. I felt like the happiest, most optimistic person though! I got to dance with my kids in worship and my heart was alive and the kids were really great!

I pray that I can walk in the Spirit often enough to really know God is always for me. My circumstances or emotions at any given time are unreliable. He is good, He is God. He has a plan to bring His kingdom to the earth and is looking for people through whom He can work. I believe He loves me and will use the least measure necessary to get the results of sanctification in my life. I will agree with His heart over this life.

I pray that you will set your mind on things above and see your life and circumstances from His perspective and find there is fullness of joy in His presence forever (Psalm 16:11).

The Down Side

Thursday August 19th

The downside of the wounds of grief on the heart is that just having a difficult day or a “down day” can become a black hole that threatens to suck you in for an unknown quantity of time. I woke this am with 1 Thessalonians 5:16 in my head; it refers to being joyful always and giving thanks in everything. Somewhere between waking and 8 am, the sun seemed to hide and the “funk” came around me. The funk for me is the unexplainable sadness that appears from nowhere and seems to be here to stay a while. Is it my anniversary a couple of weeks ago that leaves a lingering emotional dip in my heart; or is it my birthday around the corner? These times serve to remind me that we no longer share these things…only I am here to remember the plans for a lifetime we dreamed together.

Thursday, I went to the house of prayer prepared to just BE with God (not do, not praying for things in my life or anyone else’s, just to sit WITH Him). I went in hopes that my time with Jesus would realign the focus of my heart on Him until His faithfulness and goodness moves back from my head to my heart. God was so good as I was overwhelmingly reminded that it is so significant that I simply come. Not what I am able to bring to Him but just to BE. So often I strive. Even when I am aware of it, I strive to not …well strive. Work, work, work. I get sucked into estimating how God views me and feels about me based on how I view myself and feel about myself. If I feel productive and great, God must be proud…but if I have succumbed to the funk, there must be some disappointment on His part because I am disappointed that the truth of His word doesn’t seem to be lifting me out the way we would expect (me and my view of God’s heart toward me at times= we).

Recently, I put Simeon to bed and he quickly closed his eyes and started that rhythmic breathing that shows sleep is setting in. I thought about how much I enjoy that he is at peace and rest in my presence. I also love when one of my kids has a little boo-boo and the solution is just in my holding them. Not significant to the physical, but great medicine for their hearts. Some of my most enjoyable times as a parent are actually in these moments when my child is doing the least to “earn” my affection. They see the joy in my face when they “get it right” or make the right choice whether it be sharing or speaking politely. These DO make me happy (and help in keeping peace). These still don’t compare to the fellowship of our hearts that takes place in the stillness of “everything is alright with the world because we’re together”.

Thursday my heart was heavy and hurting. God so spoke to my heart that delights in me and enjoys me…not just when I think things are going well, but even when I feel sad. He let me sit in His lap and reminded me that when I come to the end of myself and find only His presence will do; those are some of His favorite times too.

In that, I can give thanks! Bless the Lord, Oh my soul and all that is within me bless His holy name!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I have been so busy lately.  Overwhelmingly so actually.  Between just trying to keep up with a two and three year old, the house of prayer, and my on-going house project...I am often overwhelmed. 

On the "busy" 2 and 3 year olds.  They are so great.  So challenging much of the time, but such a joy also.  I taught Simeon how to say I love you in Spanish tonight.  Last Sunday morning, he woke up first and those first few minutes are the BEST snuggle times.  I sat with him and after about 5 minutes he looked at my dress and said, "ohhh, flowers.  Mama pretty".  Isn't that the sweetest thing?!?  Just a couple of days later though he wouldn't let me kiss him; I got him anyway and he said yucky as he wiped the infected go figure.  Eliya is really thinking a lot these days.  She is remembering everything and piecing things together I wouldn't expect her to.  I continue to ask God for wisdom in how to lead these little ones to Him and through this life. 

At the house of prayer we had a 6 week internship that ended the beginning of July.  It was filled with prayer room hours, meeting weekly at the Toccoa Falls College Campus to ask God to move there this coming year,  learning and practicing meditating on the Word and listening for God's voice and teachings on topics like intimacy with God, Israel and Eschatology.  It was a great time and really built us up as a prayer community.  I also got some help with leading our main Tuesday night worship and intercession time these past several weeks from a friend, Anna Kate, home from college for the summer.  It was a blessing in many ways to have help with this aspect of the house of prayer! 

My on-going house project is...well...going on!  It's been a big encouragement to see how God has seen and heard my requests.  We moved out of our house early January and minor remodels became major and we've been displaced since then.  My in-laws graciously let us take over their house for the past few months.  After money ran out and before the project was near complete, I struggled with the fact that I was not seeing many of the things I know to be true of God.  The Word says He's a Husband, and a Father, and a Provider...but I had a house that for almost 8 months I haven't been able to settle in with my kids.  Knowing that God's word is true, I assumed that I wasn't doing something right.  Maybe not asking in the right way or praying with enough faith.  Maybe there was some lesson I hadn't gotten just right to "release the blessing or response" as you hear some preachers teach.  I was so frustrated.  At one of the many breakdowns along this journey, I cried out to God and heard Him say Job.  I'm far too optimistic to really care for Job's story in the Bible, but I skimmed all the headings and saw that what his three friends were saying was much like the accusation I had against myself.  They basically said the principle exists that God blesses the righteous and curses the wicked.  What was TRUE in this story was that these men spoke for God but didn't know His ways, mind or heart.  Through reading this story, I felt like God was saying (something I've heard before) that He wasn't ignoring my prayer, but answering another one at the same time.  I've asked and have been asking to be purified.  I want to be holy.  I want to KNOW God.  With circumstances like these, the enemy of our soul wants to lie to us about who God is and who we are before Him...and God wants to allow us to get a little more to the end of ourselves so His life can be raised up in us.  I believe that God said to me "If I had asked you to go through this season and come out of it just a little closer, would you have said YES?"  and with that perspective, I would absolutely have said yes.  So I realize that I haven't even come close to walking it out well.  I've been frustrated, short with my family, lacking in trust, hopeless, helpless, and felt completely out of control A LOT of the past 8 months.  In spite of all of that, God sent some amazing people from my church and some family have stepped in and come alongside of me in an overwhelming and humbling way and my house is nearly done.  We will be living there by next weekend.  God is so good.  No His ways are not my ways and His timing is DEFINITELY not mine; but He's so good and I pray I have grace to lean in harder and earlier the next trial  opportunity that comes my way. 

There are so many things going on in my heart and mind these days; hopefully I will be able to slow down soon and blog a little more!  Thank you for the many of you who have lifted us up before God.  Please continue to pray for wisdom for me in parenting and leading the two amazing kids, protection and provision for our family, and that we'd live with a kingdom/eternal perspective.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hearing the voice of God

I was just pondering hearing God's voice. I am in a season of pressing in to hear His voice more clearly. I am also currently reading Rees Howells Intercessor. This man is an example of one who emptied himself so utterly. In doing so, he made room for the Spirit of God to dwell in him and work through him in amazing ways. Once when a young Christian asked him how he knew God's voice, he said "Can't you tell your mother's voice from any other?...well I know His voice just like that." Jn 10:4 says as a shepherd, he walks before them and the sheep follow Him because they know His voice. Mt 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied"! More "food" for thought: Isa 55:1, Isa 55:2, Jn 4:14

Father, thank you for a desire to hear your voice. Thank you for giving me hunger for more of you! Help me to only take on what You want me to take on so there is room for being still before You. Help me to talk less and listen more when I'm with You. From the place of intimacy, give me the words that sustain the weary one (Isa 50:4). You are so good and I am so grateful for your grace and mercy in my life. In Jesus' name.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Use it ALL Lord

Today is one of those days…again. Hindsight, I can see it in the works the past few days. I will give you a glimpse of grief. There are many great things going on; God’s word is alive and I feel a draw to Him. Good things happening at the house of prayer and my house is getting closer and closer to being ready for us to move into. The last day or two, I start feeling unusually irritable and frustrated. I seem to have less patience for the kids and overall I feel sadness draped over me. THEN, I realize that Scott’s birthday is coming this week. It’s strange how there seems to be an internal indicator that sets in motion before I even seem recognize the cause and effect. I’m sure that part of not seeing it a little sooner is just being too busy and not getting before the Lord when I started feeling “out of sorts”. So last night I made the connection and by this morning I mostly just feel the sadness of it. It's probably been building for a while.  It's especially difficult when Eliya asks questions about heaven and daddy.

Easter Sunday, there was someone playing Jesus at children’s church. Eliya has been told so many times that Daddy is with Jesus, that when she saw this guy, she fully expected to see Daddy too. I mentioned to her that his birthday was coming up and she asked if he would have a party at the park; followed by questions about if you get presents in heaven on your birthday, etc. I usually last about 90 seconds before I have to change the subject.

EVERY single time that the intensity comes like this, God shows Himself to be so tender. It’s just like how sensitive and sweet I want to be toward my children if one of them is hurt. If I, being a good parent, want to kiss my child’s boo boo when they hurt; how much more does a perfect heavenly Father want to make His presence and kiss known when I cry out to Him. I am so aware of how low and needy I am, and He comes near(James 4:8a). In the midst of pain, I love the “cuddling”. God loves to comfort those who mourn and to raise up those who are bowed down (Mt 5:4, Ps 145:14). I often tell the Lord to use every bit of what comes along with my circumstances. I don’t want any of it to be in vain. Use the grief to bring me to Your feet. Use the pain to make me like You. Use the tears to heal the deepest places in my soul. Use my life for Your kingdom and set my gaze on eternity. Let my precious husband’s life and death continue to bear fruit through my life and our children’s lives, In Jesus’ Name! (Jn 12:24)

Listen to this song that continues to speak to my soul: Come as Close as You Want

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Selling our Birthright for Soup?!

Several months ago I was very burdened for an old friend.  This friend was willfully walking in sin and claiming the grace and blood of the Lord Jesus.  I was literally thinking about and praying for this person almost daily and asking the Lord to expose truth and bring freedom. 

One day I took a nap and I woke up and knew I had been praying for this person.  I drifted back to sleep and woke up with the Lord saying this generation of the church is like Esau who sold his birthright to his brother for a bowl of soup.  I hadn't even thought about Jacob and Esau or this story in such a long time I had to look it up to find it.  Gen 25:29-34, Esau comes in from hunting and is famished and weary and Jacob has made stew.  When he asks for some, his brother said first sell me your birthright.  Esau says, if I'm about to die, then what good is my birthright to me and agrees to give his blessing, inheritance and leadership of the family over for bread and soup.  The Lord tied this dream to my one friend who represents the MANY in the church who wilfully make the exception of sin (the passing pleasure) in their lives and believe that there is no contradiction in that and in following the Lord.
  I also clearly felt like the Lord was saying these dear ones are selling their birthright, inheritance as an heir to the kingdom; for the passing pleasure of sin (bowl of soup).  So fleeting that it literally only satisfies a short time.  I haven't known exactly how to write about this because my own beliefs about doctrinal issues (once saved, always saved) have been shifting.  I would hate for those whom the enemy attacks with doubting their salvation to believe this word to "confirm" what they already believed...that they can't be SURE of salvation.  THIS I believe is for those who have hardened their hearts to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and have said to the Lord, I will follow you when it benefits me and is convenient...but in practice I will choose sin over holiness blatantly.  Of course I sin.  Anyone who thinks he is sinless is deceived.  There is only ONE who will ever be sinless.  It is ONLY through His making the  way that any of us have any hope.  God LOVES when in our weakness we are saying, "I am sinning, even stuck in sin, but the position of my heart is that I hate it and I want to be free".  He knows our frame, our weakness.  When my son runs to the potty and tries to go poopy without result only to go in his diaper 5 minutes later...that doesn't disappoint me!  I'm thrilled that he really wants to try the potty and I know that he will be free of his diapers and that it's part of the training and maturing process that he will fail many many many many :) times before he figures it out.  Nevertheless, I love him and I am so proud of him.  God is so gracious...He is FULL of grace and love and mercy and tenderness and gentleness.  If you hate your sin and struggle with assurance of salvation...this isn't aimed at you and you need to ask some prayer warriors around you to declare truth over you and help you get free from the lie of the enemy of your soul who is the father of lies. 

This message is for the other group.  I only want to be faithful to the Lord in what I feel He has spoken to me. 

Hebrews 10:19-39 is a sobering passage and I think speaks to this very topic of willful disobedience.  It begins by speaking to the brethren of the confidence we gain through the blood of Jesus and His sacrifice that brings forgiveness and freedom. It encourages the brethren to stimulate one another to love, good deeds, meeting together and encouraging one another...FOR vs. 26 "if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.  This message to the brethren, the church, believers says that ones who willfully go on sinning trample under foot the Son of God ad has regarded the blood of the covenant that sanctified him as unclean.  Vs 31 says "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God".

I really believe that we are moving into a place where ones who have loved God in times past will have the fire in their hearts rekindled and will want to let go of every besetting sin and thing which hinders love.  I believe that many who have really struggled with sin issues and hated it and haven't been able to get free will be freed in a moment!  The Lord is so good and is setting so many free in the body of Christ right now. (LINK TO TESTIMONIES OF FREEDOM)  When we get even a small revelation of the love of God and an understanding of the kingdom, we can begin to understand our birthright and inheritance is so much greater than the temporary thing we are clinging to now.  Vs. 33 and 34 speak of a people who through tribulation and reproach they joyfully accepted the seizure of their property, knowing that they had a better possession and a lasting one. 

Romans 6 talks about how we who have died to sin cannot still live in it.  Rom 6:6 "knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin." 

We have got to pursue holiness.  We have got to get free from everything that hinders love.  There is a King who is worthy of a pure, spotless lamb.  He will return for her.  It will be difficult, but so so worth it.  HE IS SO WORTH IT.  There is nothing, no earthly pleasure that you can ever lay down that you will regret when you are in His presence.  One of the gifts of what I have walked through in the past year after losing Scott was a more eternal perspective.  This 70 year stint on Earth is a vapor compared to eternity and there is reward for faithfulness and for dying to your own desire and choosing obedience. 

So to the one who is struggling in marriage and just biding your time....ENDURE and persevere until freedom comes.  To the one who is playing with sexual immorality...BREAK every tie and agreement you have made with the enemy in justifying your sin...BE HOLY FOR HE IS HOLY.  He is worthy of our pursuing Him.  To the one with the constant ungodly desires...Set your mind on things above WHERE CHRIST IS SEATED.  Cast down every thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ. 

"let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Do Not Grow Weary!!!  For the joy set before US we can and will endure.  Jesus said He would return, and He will.  In just a little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay! (Heb 10:37). 

Lord, give me an understanding of the cross and what my freedom cost you.  Help me know how you feel towards me (Eph 3:17-21).  Give me an eternal perspective so I can walk in a manner worthy of You! (Mt 6:10, Mt 25:34)  I know that if I see you the way David did (Ps 27:4), the way Mary did (Luke 10:42), the way John did (Jn 13:23) then I will have no difficulty giving up all for the One who is Love.

Listen to THIS SONG.  He loved me til the end.  It's like a battle song to keep your eyes and heart focused!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pt. 2; A touch in the night

In the previous blog I talked about how the Lord spoke to me about our altered view of reality in the church (myself included!) and how we "go through the motions" without even perceiving that we aren't in touch with reality.  Directly after that experience of waking up three times, I laid back in the bed and turned on the ipod to listen to worship music while I went back to sleep.  I haven't done this in a LONG time.  I began to remember that the months after Scott passed away, I fell asleep EVERY night to these same songs.  In my heart I began to really worship through remembering the goodness, faithfulness and tenderness of the Lord in my life.  Suddenly, I was aware of the intense presence of the Lord.

I think the presence of the Holy Spirit had already been working and moving, but I just at that point became aware of it. 

I had gone to IHOP Atlanta that Sunday morning.  In every service, they have a time for praying for those who need healing.  My hip had been achy and arthritic feeling for a few weeks.  It wasn't a serious enough pain that I would go to the doctor, but had really been bothering me.  During that prayer time, I raised my hand and those around me prayed for me.  I didn't sense anything happen, but have been so encouraged recently to believe that something ALWAYS happens when we pray even if we can't measure it by our five senses. 

That night, in the middle of the night, the Lord was manifesting His presence in such a gentle, sweet way.  My hip was radiating as though it had icy-hot on it and it also felt like a low wattage current of electricity going through my leg.  During this experience, there was such a peace and surge of love for the Lord.  I felt overwhelmed that He would move on me in the secret moments of the night like this.  After a while I wondered how long this had been going on and knew from the order of the songs on my play list that it had at least been 30 minutes.  From a place of intense love and abandon for Jesus, I told Him in my heart that I would say or do anything He wants me to.  It's funny to me that a real revelation of God and His love causes the heart to surrender more fully.  As soon as those words came from my heart, I felt like they were a vow before the Lord. 

Of course, the next day I began to think of the many prophets of the Old Testament who were told to do insane things, and who were obedient.  I pray that I would be found faithful and obedient to the end.  The Lord gave me a dream about 4-5 months ago and I haven't been able to shake it.  I will let that be part 3 of these soon as I have time to get it out!

This song has so encouraged me recently.  I love it and hope it causes the Spirit within you to make war with anything that hinders you from fully loving and surrendering to Jesus.

Click here:  HE LOVED ME TO THE END 


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How long have we been asleep?

I had an interesting experience Sunday night. It will likely take a few posts to share all of what happened but for now, I will share just part of it.

Sunday night I woke up in the middle of the night and really needed to use the restroom. I sat up in the bed, but was having trouble getting my eyes to actually open. I rubbed them a few times and realized how groggy I really was and how my vision was even not cooperating. I actually physically pryed one eye open trying to get myself to wake up more.

Then, I opened my eyes to find that I was still laying down had JUST now actually woken up. I lay there for a minute realizing that the whole first "waking up" was a dream and hadn't really happened. I lay there trying to will myself into action...because I really did have to go to the bathroom. I sat up and tried willing myself to get out of the bed. Unbelievably, I opened my eyes AGAIN to find that I was REALLY just NOW waking up. I had twice now believed myself to be awake and was in fact NOT awake.

I clearly heard the Lord say that this was a picture of His bride, the Church. Too often we are found going through the motions of religious duty that we are completely unaware of the fact that we are sleep walking. We've become so used to fulfilling our religious duty and in essence putting the smiley face sticker next to the task so we can feel good about our standing before God.

Sunday morning service... Check
15 minute devotional time... Check
Throw in some giving and patting ourselves on the back for not being as bad as someone else and we have fully found ourselves in the role of a Pharisee.

I knew immediately that this experience was the Lord speaking this to me because just a few weeks ago the same thing happened. I fully believed I was awake and woke to find I hadn't been awake at all. The next day I shared it with someone and as I heard the story come out of my mouth I asked the Lord if there was significance and almost immediately I felt like He was saying that was the experience of much of His bride.

In the beginning of Revelations 3: 1-3 A word is given to the church at Sardis: "I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you."

I got to share part of my heart and journey with some college girls this past weekend. The best part was getting in the Word and remembering the things the Lord has done in me. I shared with them that I have come to realize that the majority of my walk with the Lord has been sleep walking. Once the Holy Spirit illuminated the Word in my heart and I began to understand Mark 12:30; that the greatest commandment is to Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength... the second is loving others and the ministry that brings. We have a difficulty staying before Him long enough to become a lover...which is what He longs for. One of my favorite pastors, Mike Bickle, often says a lover will always out work a worker.

Romans 13:11 "Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we first believed.

1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is near; therefore be clear minded and self controlled so that you can pray.

Father, I pray that you'd give me a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God. Let the eyes of my heart be enlightened. Remove the veil. Wake me up where I slumber and don't even know it. Let me see how you see. Keep my heart in love with You Lord.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

He Delights in ME!

I want to share one part of what the Lord did and spoke over me at the OneThing conference this past week. Let me start by saying, I don't share this because I particularly like having the deepest places of my heart visible for anyone to see. I lay my heart bare in hopes that it will lead others to the place of heart encounter with this amazing God who completely knows us and longs to give us understanding of how He feels towards us; not just a cognitive intellectual head knowledge, but an experiential heart knowledge that changes completely how we pursue this Lover of our souls.
With that said, the conference was great. Soon I hope to share more about how energized and excited I am about some of the things the Lord showed me. In the midst of awesome teaching and great worship times, I couldn't help but notice many, many fathers with their little children. Starting Wednesday afternoon, it seemed as though there wasn't a direction I could look without noticing them. A sense of sadness started settling in. By Wednesday night, I knew that where I was emotionally was so different than what was going on in the worship time at the conference. They had the prayer room going on site so I went over there to get in the Word and be still before the Lord. He gave me two verses while I was in there. Is 62:3-5 and Hos 2:19-20. These verses speak of no longer being called desolate and forsaken but being called "my delight is in her" and married. The Hosea verse says I will betroth you to Me forever and in faithfulness. I knew He was speaking, but my heart wasn't connecting. That night ended with that same sadness over me. The next day was similar in that all of these fathers were present with and loving on their babies. The absence in my life and my children's lives seem so much more present. At the night service they started singing You're faithful to the end, You're faithful to my heart, Won't you come and marry me. Although the Lord has been SO SO faithful and good, I felt an overwhelming need for Him to speak to my heart and touch my soul. I kept praying and asking Him to comfort me but I became overwhelmed and frustrated. I even asked someone to pray for me, but that only frustrated me more. I told her there was a heaviness in my heart and she interpreted it to be something it wasn't and although thankful for her prayer, I was done. I decided to head to the prayer room again, but this time (last session of conference) it had moved back to the IHOP missions base. So I went again into the service and had enough time away to let my emotions settle some. I decided since I didn't have any resolution in asking for Him to touch my heart, I would just start praying for others. I was praying for a little while and a man that I have met several times at different houses of prayer was coming through the crowd praying for people. I had kept an eye out for him earlier in the conference, but had not seen him at all until this last session of the four days. When I saw him, I knew that the Lord had sent him FOR ME. He saw me and made his way over and just started praying for me and speaking over my life. Within 8 seconds I was in hard and full weeping. Thankfully, there were so many people being touched in significant ways and with the worship loud, it was a little sanctuary for just me and the Lord. There was so much that he spoke over me that hit me to the core, but the one thing that left me undone was that the Father was giving me as a reward to Jesus. I was a gift from the Father to the Son. After this precious man had left I kept hearing that again and again in my spirit, I was a reward to the Son.
Lou Engle was one of the speakers there and he has such a tender heart for the Lord and people. I absolute love this man! I jokingly asked a friend of mine how old Lou's oldest son is insinuating that might be a way I could get into Lou's family (incidentally his oldest son is 22 :). Through that random comment from earlier, the Father spoke so tenderly into my heart. It was as though He said, what if Lou were choosing a bride for his son from thousands of women and he chose ME and said out of all of those who I would choose from for my son, I want YOU to be his bride; that would be a weak analogy because the Father has looked out among thousands and thousands and has seen me and chosen ME as a bride for His son, as a reward for Him! Words alone cannot communicate what the Spirit did in me through this revelation from the Father. Although this bridal identity is definitely a corporate one, at that moment in time, the Father was speaking to me and revealing His delight in me and desire for me. I remembered those verses from the night before and went straight to them.
Isaiah 62:3-4 "You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. It will no longer be said to you, "Forsaken," Nor to your land will it any longer be said, "Desolate"; But you will be called, "My delight is in her," and your land, "Married" For the Lord delights in you and to Him your land will be the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you."
Hosea 2:19-20 "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord."
The amazing thing about this last verse is that is doesn't just say marry you to me, but it says betroth. In betrothal, it very much has the idea that the father is the one choosing the bride for the son. As intimately and personally as I am chosen to know the Lord in this bridal identity, so is every believer. I very much believe that the Lord allowed my pain to rise to the surface and my desperation level to increase so that He could reveal His faithfulness to me, His delight in me, and a new level of His love for me. He is mindful of us, He cares for us, He sets His heart on US! Psalm 8:4, Psalm 144:3, Heb 2:6, Job 7:17ESV.
"Who am I, that You make so much of me, and set Your heart on Me??!"
P.S. Kirk- I already liked you a lot, but love that the Lord let it be you through the Spirit to breathe new life into my heart!