Saturday, July 23, 2016

Mind-blowing...

Have you ever had God surprise you out of the blue with something that you weren't even seeking?  /// 

That is what has happened to me this week. I walked around a corner that I didn't know even existed, and I am overwhelmed by what I see. /// 

Monday morning I somehow wound up watching a message that John Bevere gave. (Anyone who knows me knows how unusual that is, to find me watching a well-known preacher, for I have, for most of my life, been a 'get-my-revelation-straight-from-the-Bible-with-the-Holy-Spirit's-interpretation-and-spare-me-the-worries-of-being-deceived-by-a-human's-interpretation' kind of person.)

But the message was about the fear of the Lord, and it was centered around a verse that I "found" a few weeks ago, though I didn't realize it until half way through the message.  You see, a number of weeks back, I'd been listening to my Bible-on-CD mp3 recordings while I worked, and I stopped in my tracks when I heard this:
The Lord confides in those who fear Him;
That word "confide" just blew my mind.  To think that the Lord would confide in a human!  Though He did with Moses and Abraham and Daniel and Paul and others throughout the Bible. The key was "those who fear Him," but I didn't think too in-depth on that at the time. I was too overwhelmed just with the thought that God would confide in a human.

That was the NIV translation so I looked up the NAS:
The [h]secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him; - Ps. 25:14
You share your secrets with those who are very, very close to you. You share your secrets with those you trust. The mere idea of God sharing His secrets with me just floored me!

So perhaps that is what led me to watch this message entitled "Who God Shares His Secrets With" this past Monday... it's about what the fear of the Lord really is, but for me, it also touched on so many other things related to questions I've had and revelations I've received... and I took great comfort from the fact that so much of what he said was Scripture, Scripture, Scripture. And all of it scripture that I know very well and didn't have to go looking up because I was thinking, "Does it really say that?"

But that led to me listening to another series about the Holy Spirit, and he was reading scripture after scripture after scripture in Acts... the Spirit said this... the Spirit did that, etc.  I realized how often I have read over various verses and attributed the action to God the Father rather than the Holy Spirit... even when the verse specifically says "the Spirit."

And that led to.... truthfully, I can hardly trace the paths God has led me along this week. If I could, it would probably bore you. Suffice it to say that I have found myself talking to Him almost non-stop.

I worshipped almost the entire day yesterday (one of the benefits of having a home office) until I found myself overwhelmed and weeping in joy at 1:00 am last night, unwilling to stop and go to bed.

I am finding different questions I've struggled with for years brought to mind, and I sense Him whispering that the answer is near.

My hunger for more and my peace in where He has me right now are simultaneously and paradoxically surging to new highs.

He is bringing to mind various spiritual experiences that He's given me over the last 30 years of finding Him. I been given the interpretations of tongues... but it's been a year or more since it happened and was only occasional before that. I once woke up in the middle of the night to hear Him saying, "Get up and praise Me" so I did... and what followed was the most mind-blowing and powerful hour and a half in His tangible presence that I have ever experienced. But that was a couple of years ago.  He's now whispering to me that these do not have to remain just occasional happenings... they can become my normal.

So last night I was sharing with my husband in that words-tumbling-out-I-can't-keep-this-in-anymore sort of way.

And I think the entire week led up to these words that spilled out of me:
Sometimes we say how we wish we could walk and talk with Jesus and see Him and talk to Him face to face. And yet, Jesus said that it was to our advantage if He left so the Spirit could come. He said it was better for us.

And yet we still talk as though it would be better to see Jesus face-to-face. What arrogance! To think we know better than Jesus!

So what does this mean?

If it really is better to have the Spirit as we do now than to walk and talk with Jesus as the disciples did, then think of how much most of us today are missing! 

It's staggering how much we're missing! 

I sat there totally overwhelmed with that revelation.

We are meant to have more than we would have if we were walking next to Jesus. 

More.

I suddenly felt bereft... because I suddenly realized that I'm missing out on something I was meant to have. Lots I was meant to have. Lots that God has for me.  For you.

But my God finishes what He starts. He would not show me this vista of amazing-ness without arranging for the grace that will lead me into it...where the fear of the Lord opens the door to the secrets of the Lord... and permits me to understand and partake of the ways of His Spirit... and keeps me safely humble and submitted... for I know that to embark on a discovery of More without humility and the fear of the Lord is horribly dangerous. Because the more blessing and favor I see in my life... the more life-changing revelations I receive... the more supernatural experiences I have... the greater the temptation to pride becomes.  I cannot explain how much my soul trembles at the thought of discovering the reality of what God has shown me this week... and then becoming proud over it! It's almost enough to make me want to back away. The danger is so great, for I know how weak I am when it comes to pride. And yet the yearning in my soul for that More is so strong that I cannot resist His call to "Come and trust Me."

And so I will go. I will throw myself upon His grace to keep me humble. I will rely on His Spirit to teach me the reality of everything He gave me a glimpse of this week. I will continually ask for His grace to obey each direction He gives me and rest in His mercy when I stumble. I will quiet my trembling soul before Him, and shaky step by shaky step, I will embark on the path that I now see around the corner.

Will you join me?


With arms held high
Lord, I give my life
Knowing I'm found in Christ
In Your love forever
With all I am
In Your grace I stand
The greatest of all romance
Love of God my Saviour....

Friday, July 08, 2016

The world is dying...

As I look out my window, I see dying trees -- trees that were healthy last year.  I see stumps of trees that died last year and were healthy when we bought this house 8 years ago. I read on the Internet how many huge percentages of trees in North America are dying at abnormally high rates...  /// 

I happen across an article talking about how huge numbers of frogs and toads are disappearing...  /// 

I read the news and watch the hatred between white and black Americans suck people off streets that were supposed to be safe and into graves and nightmares full of fear for tomorrow.   /// 


The world is dying.   /// 


It has been ever since the fall... since sin and murder and hatred entered the world and brought with it a curse upon even nature itself. We think the world is getting scary, but only because we were born into one of the safest times and places in history to be born into. It's always been scary.
This is why the world so desperately needs the hope of Jesus.

He came so that each individual who was willing to accept it could have life in a dying world. So that you and I could experience peace in a world of turmoil. So that every single person might know His love in a world of hatred. So that there might be hope in a world dominated by media that spreads despair.


Is this the message that we as American Christians are sharing with our neighbors... our family... our coworkers... our Facebook feed?

If we were to ask them what our reaction is to all of this, would they say that we are talking about hope sent from a God who knew that humanity would do this to itself?

Or are they hearing us saying with shock in our voice, "What is this world coming to?"

Are they watching us blame our president and/or the liberals, or are they hearing us acknowledge that "our battle is not against flesh and blood"?

Are they hearing us talk about judgement, or are they hearing about the One who spoke mercifully and kindly to a prostitute and told those who 'stood for what was right' that they needed to learn from her. The One who shared food (maybe even cake) with sinners and said, "I have not come to call the righteous."


Is this the message that my own neighbors and family and Facebook feed is hearing from me? That I, at least, believe that in the midst of all of this mess, there is still hope and love and mercy and redemption to be found for everyone in Jesus?

I believe there is...

Hope for black people who are unjustly accused.

Hope for police men and women who are unjustly hated.

Hope for white men who can't get jobs because the law requires that a minority be hired.

Hope for women who are abused or enslaved, be it the sex trade or relationships that hold love hostage unless they perform.

Hope for men who feel like nothing they do is ever good enough to earn respect.

Hope for illegal immigrants who find themselves stuck in the quagmire of a court system that does not deport them or give them permission to stay, saying only, "Keep yourself alive as well as you can, just make sure you have the money to travel the 200 miles necessary to be back here in court in two years - no matter what."

Hope for hate-filled 'Christians' and hope for those who aren't hate-filled and don't understand why others say they are.

Hope for homosexuals and transgenders and everyone else caught in the middle.

Hope for politicians and government authorities who started their career with a sincere desire to do good and are now on constant trial before a judgmental and biased media and public.

And there is hope for every single one of us who looks at this mess and feels like it's hopeless.

Yes, it is hopeless... without Jesus.

No, Jesus did not come to bring marvelous earthly solutions to all of the above. He said that the turmoil would remain. The paradox is that He said He came so that even then, we might still have peace.


Many are telling you to pray for your country.

But I am encouraging you to also pray for yourself.  



Pray that God will show you His peace so much that it would overflow from you so that you can share it with those around you who need it so very much.

Pray that God will overwhelm your heart with love for races other than yours -- regardless of which race you were born into.

Pray that God will let you feel His heart toward homosexuals and transgenders -- I guarantee you that it is loving and compassionate.

Pray that God will show you this nation and this world through His eyes -- and prepare to discover the parts of your old perspective that need to be abandoned.

Pray that God will open your eyes to see your own pride and judgement and sin... so that you can leave it behind and be a minister of healing, for this is what He said was required.

He is what this dying world needs, but they will never know if we cannot humble ourselves and let Him make us into what He desires us to be.


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