What Do You See?

fall

I was riding down the road today, and something was bothering me. At first I couldn’t figure it out – but then I realized what it was. The trees still have all these fall colored leaves on them, and I feel like it’s Christmas. So I start talking to the trees and I say “Listen…I am going to need you to start LOOKING LIKE IT’S CHRISTMAS!” And suddenly, something drops in my spirit.

I hear the Spirit of the Lord ask me a question…”so you are going to let what you see determine what season you are in?”

Man. What a question. As I drove down the road, and the revelation of what was being said began to slowly unfurl itself in front of me – questions and truths started falling in my spirit the same way the leaves were falling from the trees.

How often do we let what we are seeing with our natural eye determine what we are believing? If the Lord speaks something to you – why do you let what your natural eye sees deter you from believing the promises of God in your life? If the Lord says it is December the 4th, then why let some orange and yellow leaves tell you something different? Even when the leaves are real? 

But isn’t this just what the enemy likes to do? Take our eyes and point them towards what we can see in the natural to distract us from what is taking place in the spirit? In the natural you absolutely can go up to the trees and touch, and smell, and even eat the leaves if you want. But does that change the fact that we are 21 days away from Christmas? No! Should that change your heart from being filled with the spirit of Christmas? The spirit of the season you are in? Of course not! Should you let what you are seeing effect how you are feeling? If your trust is in the Lord, then – NO!

So why not apply this truth to all the other areas of your life? Maybe in the natural that person you know the Lord wants to connect you with seems risky, but what about in the Spirit? Are you supposed to put your trust in people or God? Maybe in the natural it seems like someone has let you down…but are you looking at the leaves on the trees or are you asking the Lord to show you truth in a situation through your spiritual eyes?

The eyes we see with in our spirit have a much different perspective then what our natural eyes see, matter of fact, they see from heavenly places. Our natural eyes can fool us with what is in front of us, and because of the REALity of it – doubt and unbelief can easily take root in your spirit and soul. But the Lord beckons us to be a people who see and hear what the Spirit is saying to His bride. (Rev 2-3) You cannot be a person who walks by the spirit until you allow the Lord to shift your perspective into one that sees by the spirit.

Stop looking at the outward man. Stop evaluating people based on the checklist you have made that says they have it all together. Surrender to the eyes of the Lord and acknowledge that God has the right to use whoever He wants, whenever He wants, however He wants and realize you will only be able to see this in the Spirit. Stop looking at what people are doing – what your husband, or wife, is doing, what your friend is doing  – and start asking the Lord to show you in the spirit who that person is…chances are the enemy has been using some leaves on their tree to distract you from the truth of who they are and who they should be to you. Or most importantly – who HE says they are.

All in all, the question seems to me, to be this – will you believe it when the Lord tells you what season you are in, or will you choose to look through natural eyes at the leaves falling all around you? Will you have eyes to see past the waving flags of the enemy, sent to distract you from what God is doing in your life, to deter you from your destiny, and will you choose to focus upon the promises of the Lord?

The Lord is speaking to us. He is saying “I am doing a new thing,” and asking us all, “will [we] perceive it?”

Well…God said it’s a new season…so, will you perceive it?

new thing

 

Advertisements

When You Can’t Contain What You’re Trying to Carry

I wonder how many times the tile of a bathroom floor has caught the tears of a mother? A mother who has stolen away from the world just long enough to let the hurts and hang ups of life escape out of her heart and soul and run down her cheeks,  caught by the tile floor. The tile that offers no comfort and is as cold as hearts that cause pain. A mother who steals away into the solitude of the bathroom because she wants to keep her kids from the knowing. The knowing of the gritty reality that life hurts. And sometimes in the midst of it all, grace is hard to see. Next to impossible to feel. A mother who wants to keep her babies far from the pain, so she locks herself far from her babies.

I wonder how many mothers have visited the deceptive warmth and solitude of this isolated sanctuary. This cold, hard place that can make hope seem like a memory and faith like a bad joke.

Maybe if we would come out of our pretend sanctuary and step into the sanctity of God’s grace, and trust Him enough to bear our souls with one another a little more – maybe we wouldn’t feel so alone. Maybe we wouldn’t have so many tears spill onto the solid surfaces of our lives – the cold tiles and the cold hearts.

Maybe.

Maybe if we realized that our trust never belonged in anyone but Him…

No matter the maybes, the one thing that is…

we may have felt alone, but we never were, never are. And every tear that slipped from the edge of our eyes, as proof that we could no longer hold what we were trying to contain – every. single. tear. was counted. And the end returns to the beginning in the eternal truth that we were never meant to carry the weight of the world.

And that’s why we can’t.  He has always known, and always been ready to exchange our yolk for His, our grace for His, our strength for His. The one question that seems to always remain – will we say yes? Will we put our hope in God? Will we make the decision to praise, while the tiles collect the tears?

“As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while all day long people say to me, “Where is your God? ” I remember this as I pour out my heart: how I walked with many, leading the festive procession to the house of God, with joyful and thankful shouts. Why am I so depressed? Why this turmoil within me? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God. I am deeply depressed; therefore I remember You from the land of Jordan and the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls; all Your breakers and Your billows have swept over me. The Lord will send His faithful love by day; His song will be with me in the night — a prayer to the God of my life. I will say to God, my rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why must I go about in sorrow because of the enemy’s oppression? ” My adversaries taunt me, as if crushing my bones, while all day long they say to me, “Where is your God? ” Why am I so depressed? Why this turmoil within me? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭42:1-11‬

Prone to Wander

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,

Prone to leave the God I love;

Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,

Seal it for Thy courts above.

– Come Thou Fount 

Why are we so prone to wandering?  The apostle Paul summed it up when he said, basically, all I wanna do is right, but I find myself doing wrong. (Romans 7:19)

I’m so grateful for the character of our God. I’m so grateful that our wandering is matched by the love of a God who gave His son, knowing we would wander, knowing some would never find their way. I’m so grateful for Jesus. I’m so grateful for a God who, when my heart is far from Him, He is always willing to pursue me. I’m so grateful for this example of limitless, unconditional love. Love without expectations. Without conditions or limits. 

It’s so very much unlike the love we give one another. But deep inside, no matter how far I feel, this matchless love always awakens the little bud in my heart that is just waiting to grow…to grow into love like this….love like that…love that shed blood for me…died for me…Love that came for me…love that found me, even before I knew I was lost. 



 

Paris, Tomorrow and the Church

image

Last night, before my husband made his way home, he called me to tell me he was going to stop by Redbox and get a video game for our son, Noah. Interestingly, he hasn’t rented from Redbox in over a year. I have really wanted to see Tomorrowland so I asked him to pick it up if they had a copy. When I got home he was playing the game with Noah. As we were waiting for them to finish so we could watch the movie, I got on my phone and saw the horrible news about Paris.

About halfway through the movie, something really incredible happened. The main characters Frank and Casey get into a machine that you assume is taking them to Tomorrowland. However when the machine stops and when they get off you are surprised to see them at the Eiffel Tower. This obviously caught my attention. Inside the Eiffel Tower was the real rocket that was going to take them to their destination. This is where I began to see some truths and parallels in the movie I thought I would share:

A picture I took while watching the movie

A picture I took while watching the movie

  1. In the movie, the rocket inside the Eiffel Tower had always been there and was the real purpose behind its creation. I believe that what happened in Paris can be the beginning of a turn around for this world. The rocket came out of something, not new, but that something that was always there. An antique that was originally created for this purpose. A beacon into the darkness. A clarion call if you will.
  2. The rocket enabled them to travel to a new dimension. Where Tomorrowland was located. I believe that we are being called to a new dimension of living. That we are going to have to shift our thinking and mindsets to be able to overcome this terror. (For example – focusing on a red cup isn’t going to take us there)
  3. When they arrive at Tomorrowland it is in a state of decay. It appears mostly abandoned and everything is grey and gloomy. It is not the bright, inspirational place you see at the beginning of the movie. Casey is so taken a back by what she finds there she makes the statement “This place has nothing to do with hope – it is the opposite of hope.” That is where this terror is birthed from. A place devoid of hope.
  4. Casey is told that the world is going to end in 58 days. They have realized that she is the key to saving the world – and the one thing that makes her special is that she doesn’t give up. Where everyone else sees the end – she asks what’s the solution. God is calling us to a new level of living and thinking where we stop looking in the natural at the doom and gloom around us and begin turning our eyes upward towards where our help comes from – and asking for the SOLUTIONS to these problems we are facing.
  5. Casey has an idea to save the world that is birthed from a story her dad has always told her, it goes like this “Two wolves. One full of hope and one full of despair get into a fight. Which wolf wins?” The answer is, “whichever one you feed.” This is the most important message from this revelation. Whatever we feed is what wins. No matter the terror, the Church, must rise up and feed hope. Hope is the key to this entire situation.
  6. Frank and Casey figure out what has been hurdling the world towards its end. A monitor full of some futuristic energy source, was thought to have been showing what was happening around the world. This is also where the future, including the apocalypse, was being broadcasted. But Frank and Casey discover that the truth was this wasn’t a monitor showing the end but an antennae broadcasting the idea over and over. Sound like the media? Look at the top grossing movies over the past few years. The list is full of apocalyptic movies like The Age of Extinction, Hunger Games, Desolation, etc. Watch one, sixty minute broadcast of the news.
  7. Frank and Casey figure out that another character was behind this monitor, trying to scare people straight. But what began to happen was a self fulfilling prophecy was being released. Here is a monologue from that character: “They didn’t fear their end – they began to gobble it up like a chocolate eclair. They embraced the apocalypse and repackaged it as video games and movies. Simultaneous epidemics of obesity and starvation. In every moment there is the possibility of a better future but you people won’t believe and because you won’t believe it you resign yourself to it…for one reason. Because that future doesn’t ask anything of you today. You see the iceberg but her you still say full steam ahead to the titanic – because you want to sink – you gave up.” So much truth is held in that statement. We are gobbling up the fear and terror. And we are feeding the wrong wolf. As he said, every moment there is the possibility of a better future, we just have to believe. And we have to be willing to answer the call from a tomorrow that does require some things of us today. All complacency must go. 
  8. At this point we see a flashback where the character Frank opened the door for this entire situation when decades before, he gave up hope. Not only did he give up hope but we see that he became angry at the one who gave him hope. This is the key, to our prayers and our strategy moving forward. This is the heart behind radical Islamist and those like them. They have no hope. And because they have no hope they are angry at people who do. The Church and all lovers of Christ must rise up and be the beacon of hope that we were always created to be. The wolf named despair has been fed and Isis and Al Qaeda have came from that. Where there is no hope, a void opens, that can be filled with hate and despair. We need an injection of hope! We must start feeding the right wolf!!
  9. Finally, at the end, this injection of hope that the savior of this movie, Casey, was able to bring stops the apocalypse. They realize that knocking down evil isn’t hard, but figuring out what to build in its place is the challenge. Their strategy moving forward was simple. They went into the world and found all the dreamers. All the ones who haven’t given up. All the ones who believe in spite of what they see. They are the ones who will build Tomorrow. And they all converge together in a field of dreams.

image

I believe this is all what we are being called to do at this time. Look for the dreamers. Unite them together. Realize that knocking down evil isn’t the hard part, but leaving behind an injection of hope is the most critical, non-negotiable part. We must inspire people to have hope and to stop feeding the wrong wolf! As I was adding the picture from the movie to this blog, I realized that last week the Lord had given me the vision of that field of dreams. A field of wheat, a field of Harvest. I remembered it when I added the picture because I saw the pictures of the fields of wheat I had used to make my cover photo on this blog!!

image

Let us pray that out of Paris a revival of hope and dreams begins that allows a light so bright to shine out of that city that people turn their heads away from the self fulfilling prophecies played on their monitors day after day, and instead begin to turn their eyes towards the way, the truth, and the life. That the dreamers are awoken and realize they are standing in the middle of a field ready for Harvest!

image

Do You Know Who is Speaking?

I hear from many people that they don’t feel like God is speaking to them. I read an article the other day that, like many out there, gives advice for how to hear the Lord speak to you. The first piece of advice I would probably give (primarily speaking to myself) would be to spend more time reading God’s word then articles! I’m not trying to be dogmatic here (I mean, come on – I’m writing and you are reading an article!) but the truth is that often we, including myself, want a “word from the Lord” and will go to other people, ministers/pastors/prophets, watch a sermon, read an article all in an attempt to chase after a word. But the truth is none of that makes as much sense as simply going to the Wordto get a word.

Recently a friend shared with me a revelation from her mentor, she said “you treat your Bible like it is a book. Don’t you realize, that is Jesus you are holding in your hands?” What a powerful truth. If we receive the revelation that the Bible is not just words on a page but everything it is, is Him – THAT is a game changer. I find it much harder to walk past my Bible in the morning when I realize that I am literally walking past the Word, the Word that was with God from the beginning (John 1). All this still doesn’t answer the question many have burning on their hearts, “How do I hear more clearly from the Lord?” Well I believe some answers can be found in the third chapter of 1 Samuel.

At the beginning of this chapter we find Samuel, in the service of Eli. During this time, the Lord, who verse one shows us was withholding His word from a corrupt and apathetic people, begins to call Samuel. The first three times He called Samuel thought it was Eli.

1 Samuel 3:7-10 (HCSB)

Now Samuel had not yet experienced the Lord, because the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. Once again, for the third time, the Lord called Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

Then Eli understood that the Lord was calling the boy. He told Samuel, “Go and lie down. If He calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 The Lord came, stood there, and called as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel responded, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.”

I believe there are some powerful keys to hearing from the Lord revealed in this chapter. First, we see that Samuel had not experienced the Lord because the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. This means that if we want to hear and experience the Lord, He has to reveal himself to us. How do we get the Lord to do that? Well the first verse showed that the Lord was withholding His word and visions from people because they had become corrupt. If you contrast that with Samuel, Samuel had not even experienced the Lord himself, but still was being faithful and obedient. So to hear from the Lord we must be obedient and faithful.

The second key to hearing from the Lord, and I believe one of the most important, was Samuel had to understand who was calling Him. Until Samuel had the revelation of who was calling him, he could not hear the Lord. If we want to hear the Lord, we have to understand who it is that is calling us. Who He is. If we really understand who is calling us we won’t take for granted the opportunity and blessing of His call. We won’t hesitate to say yes to Him if we truly understood that the creator of the universe who holds the foundation of Heaven and Earth in His hand, is the One calling us. Understanding the reality and the nature of God should always inspire us to respond with spontaneous obedience.

And finally, Eli told Samuel to go and lie down, and Samuel responded by going and lying down in his place. If we want to hear from God we need to be in position to do so. Sometimes that means giving God a yes, sometimes that may mean giving someone else a no, or most of the time that means saying yes over and over to the process God has put in place to move us into position. There were a lot of “yeses” that had led to Samuel being in that position, in his place. Many that had nothing to do with him. It was Hannah’s obedience that had sent him to Eli. It was his father, Elkanah’s obedience that had allowed Hannah to follow God’s word to her. It was the disobedience of Eli’s sons that opened the door for Samuel to take their place. It was Eli’s disobedience that kept him from stopping his sons from their corruption. And finally it was Samuel’s obedience that allowed him to grow in favor and stature. What a perfect picture this is of the power of our obedience and disobedience. Our decisions and willingness to surrender to God’s will doesn’t just effect us, but everyone around us. And the obedience of Samuel and his family led him to the place where his life collided with the presence of God. The very first verse of chapter 3 says that Samuel was in the presence of Eli. Being in the presence of Eli had put Samuel in position to be in the presence of the Lord. (This is the same truth we see in the gospels. The first disciples called by Jesus were the ones who had been obedient to the Lord’s calling to follow John the Baptist. Being in the presence of John the Baptist led them to be in the presence of the Word, manifested in flesh!)

This chapter also allows us to see the stark contrast of what happens when you don’t obey God. The Lord was patient with Samuel and called to Him four times. But in the same chapter we see the Lord removing His favor and bringing judgement on Eli’s house because of their disobedience. To me, this says, that

obedience, which is surrendering of one’s will, is the key that unlocks the door to experiencing God and hearing His word.

So if we want to hear the Lord speak, the recipe seems to be pretty simple: recognize the voice of the one calling you, respond in obedience and faith and be in position when He calls. Now…if only that were as simple as it sounds!

Lord, may we all have the courage and revelation of who you are, to respond when you call, “Speak, for your Servant is listening.” 

So Fresh So Clean…Call it 2015

image

Here I am looking 2015 head on. Ready to not look back, not think back, not go back or sit back. (That’s part of a prophetic word I was given by one of the mother’s in faith the Lord has blessed me with).

image

And here is a real, honest look at my starting place for the year. The DIVINE in the center (being Christ) but a mess all around. But this year I will do as another great, wise woman of faith prophesied over me to do, and JUMP IN.

   

image

I’m jumping into Him. I’m letting go of fear…and self preservation…and vain imaginations (not even sure what that means yet). I’m jumping into His word. I’m jumping into my problems. Facing them head first. I’m jumping into each day seeking first the Kingdom of God. I’m jumping into MOVEMENT. Everyday. Just a little movement…because it’s amazing what just a little will do for your soul (another nugget from 2014). And while I am jumping in. I am also LETTING GO.

image

Forgetting those things that are behind I am pressing on towards the mark of the high call. I’m letting go of the things that kept me walking around these same mountains. I’m letting go of control. I’m letting go of self preservation (because HE holds me in the palm of His hand).

image

I’m letting go of all the ‘what I haven’ts’ and I’m grabbing hold to gratitude. I’m walking with Him. Talking with Him. I’m following the voice of my Shepard, of my Father.

image

I’m preparing for my bridegroom. I’m committing to the process. I’m trusting Him. I’m resting in Him. I’m allowing Him to lead me…wherever He wants…I’m abiding in HIM…finding refuge in HIM.

image

And most importantly I am focused on one word. FAITHFULNESS. Faithfulness to the ONE THING. That one thing that reminds me that even without all the rest of the abundant blessings 2014 has give me – new seasons, new women, new friends, new dwellings, a new understanding of His love, new sisters in Christ, children on fire for God, children filled with love for Him and His plans for their life – even without alllll of those abundant blessings I still have enough to praise Him for forever. Because of that one thing….

image

So here’s to you 2014. Like a good bag of fertilizer, you didn’t always smell great and sometimes your load was a little heavy, but what amazing things grew out of you!

With Love,

Me

Standing under the shadow of clouds

There’s something about clouds. A cloud can be so magnificent and large, so tiny and humble. How is that so? That they take on character and shapes to match. One time I laid in the field with Noah. For 30 minutes at least. And we watched the clouds. I expected to watch them roll across the sky. But as we watched them slowly stroll along – they suddenly just dissipated into thin air. It took me by surprise.

One of my most favorite things in the world, is when you can see the shadow of clouds on rolling green hills. There’s something magical about that to me. Every time I see it I wish I could lay there, on that hill. Watching the clouds roll by, or puff away.

Standing under the shadow of clouds.