Monthly Archives: May 2013
This is funny. Ironic really. So many times I have heard people groan in frustration, “I just wish I knew what was coming! I wish I knew what the next step was or what to expect! I feel so frustrated not knowing what to do next. Aargh!”
When we follow the leading of the Spirit, or try to listen to our intuition to guide us, it often feels that way. We are listening, stretching our inner being, waiting for a signal, a sign, something to help us find our way. We often have no idea what to expect. We just keep plodding along, step by step, hoping there’s some direction in the seemingly randomness of our life experiences.
In fact, I’ve heard people reply to this frustration with, “God doesn’t tell you ahead of time what is coming because if you knew, you’d run the other way!”
Or others have said of themselves, “I’m glad I don’t know ahead of time because if I did I’d run ahead and probably mess it up.”
Lots of rationalizations to help us deal with the frustration.
However, I have always wished I knew what was coming ahead of time. I’m sure I’ve asked that question a million times, “What’s next, Lord?” And I’ve expressed my share of frustration over this issue.
Well, guess what? Now, I’ve experienced the flip side of this and it is just as frustrating. Let me explain.
For several weeks now I have felt this inner nudging that I need to call a certain person. I wrote it down as a note to myself. I rehearsed the dialog in my mind – what am I going to say? What do I need to tell them? How will they respond? I’ve done this several times over the last few weeks.
And yet, I cannot find it within myself to make that call. I don’t know why.
I’ve wrestled with – Why can’t I call them? It’s not a big deal. They are a friendly sort of person. I haven’t talked to them in awhile, but that’s not a big deal. The conversation should be pleasant.
Funny, isn’t it?
And then this morning, it dawned on me. It’s not time yet! I don’t know how I knew this, I just “knew”. I felt it inside. I AM supposed to call this person, but just not yet. That’s why I can’t seem to make myself do it. It seemed completely irrational, yet now I understand.
So, to me this is rather ironic. We often wish we knew what the next step was on our path and we get frustrated waiting and wondering what’s next. And yet, when I received the next step ahead of time, it was frustrating for me. I didn’t realize that it wasn’t time yet. I felt this nudge to do it, but I didn’t have the means to accomplish it.
Great insight. Now, I know. If you get a sense of direction, but you feel blocked, then just wait for the right timing.
It’s funny because yesterday when I was trying to figure out what to do next, I literally felt an arm holding me back. It felt like when you are kid and your parent puts an arm across the top of your chest from behind, holding you from going forward. It puzzled me. I felt safe, but I couldn’t move forward. Now, I’m beginning to understand.
Finding your way in the unseen realm is uncertain because you can’t SEE anything. I go mainly by feeling things (i.e. peace or no peace). Sometimes I get an inner “knowing”. Rarely do I get a “sign” or something that’s real obvious. And yet, looking back, things seem to be orchestrated beautifully.
Well, I learned my lesson today. It might help others, so I decided to post it. I’m beginning to get the idea that some things are orchestrated for us and other things are up to us. Wisdom is figuring out which is which. 🙂
Feel free to comment – What are your thoughts on getting direction?
I am making up a new word: Respondability
Let me explain.
God keeps showing me, impressing on my thoughts, this idea that we need to pay attention to how we respond when He tries to get our attention. Are we responding?
If you want to develop a relationship with someone, then when they call you, you want to take their call. You respond to their desire to connect with you.
In the same way, God reaches out to us every day. You feel a nudge in your heart. Or your eyes are drawn to something specific that makes you smile (or causes you concern). You feel this tug of love toward someone or you spontaneously feel like smiling at a neighbor who is walking by. These are examples of His desire to connect with us. Sometimes He draws you to spend time in prayer or worship or meditation on His beautiful creation. Sometimes you feel the nudge to just sit still and BE. There’s so many ways He reaches out to us.
Some might refer to this as intuition and that would be right, but it is much more personal than just intuition. At least, it is for me. It is God inviting me into relationship with Him.
He has been encouraging me that when we respond to His nudges, His direction, His drawing, then He will take care of what we generally consider our “responsibilities”. We can rest in Him. Just like a little child with a good, caring father. We don’t have to have it all figured out. We can ask for help and He will respond and help us. For more on this, read this post about asking for help.
He keeps telling me, impressing on my mind and heart, that life is more about our “respondability” than our “responsibility”. Our ability to respond to Him, no matter what. That takes time and cultivation. If you are not used to recognizing His nudges and direction, you need to take time to learn to perceive them. Once you begin to perceive them, you need to respond to them. Follow them and see where they go. At some point, you need to transfer your trust from your own “common sense” to following His direction effortlessly. Stop second guessing yourself and just go with His flow. It never ceases to amaze me how things work out so much better when I do this.
We focus so much on our “responsibilities” as adults. There’s so much we have to keep track of – doctors appointments, car tune ups, household chores, career development, parenting, marriage issues, friendships, etc. It boggles the mind. And overwhelms us … and causes us stress.
However, if we will let go of our sense of “responsibilities” and instead choose to develop our “respondability”, He can guide us moment-by-moment, day-by-day. All our responsibilities will get taken care of as we respond to Him and His guidance.
Pretty “out-there”, huh?
It takes a lot of practice – this “following” thing. We are so hard-headed and stubborn and unwilling to trust someone we cannot see. But as we choose to deny ourselves and actually FOLLOW Him, it works. It really does. And it’s a lot less stressful than the other option.
So, what do you think? Should I submit this word to Merriam-Webster? Maybe create a YouTube video about it, make it go viral and then everyone will start using this word? 🙂
The concept behind it is definitely worth sharing. Try it out and let me know how it works for you. I think you’ll be glad you did!
Rating: Inspirational, pleasant
Humility attracts the Holy Spirit. – Mickey Robinson
God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. – Solomon, James & Peter (Prov 3:34, James 4:6, I Peter 5:5)
What is grace? One definition I like is “God’s enabling power”. So how does this power come to us? By the Holy Spirit. “…you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you …” (Acts 1:8)
Recognizing your dependence upon God and your need of Him makes you humble. That draws the Holy Spirit TO YOU.
When you feel confident you can “handle” life on your own, God will resist you. His Spirit won’t help you because you don’t seem to need Him.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 19:14) Little children are humble and dependent. They know they need help – tying their shoes, getting a drink, feeding themselves, getting dressed, etc. So they ask, every time they need something. Admitting their weakness allows someone with strength to help them.
Most of us, as adults, want to show we are strong, that we can “handle” whatever life throws at us. But the opposite attitude is needed if we wish to receive God’s enabling power by His Holy Spirit. We must humble ourselves every day, saying, like Moses did, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” (Exodus 33:15)
Admitting that we don’t “have it all together” is a vulnerable place for us. We’ve been told to “grow up” and be responsible for our lives. Yet, it seems to me that the complexities of life are meant to drive us to this place of vulnerability and trust in His grace.
So, here’s some questions to ponder :
How much do you want to do on your own?
How desperate are you for His help?
The choice is yours.
I’d rather choose vulnerability, grace and humility daily. I don’t want to do this on my own. I want more of the Holy Spirit’s help and enabling power. The world is too big and scary – just look at the news each day. We need help. Our planet desperately needs His grace.
Make us humble, Lord, that we might receive Your enabling power by Your Spirit. Without it, we’re lost. ♥
A. W. Tozer was a man who perceived God in the unseen realm. The words he used to express his relationship with God have often resonated with me. On some deep level, I “get” it. Here are some of my favorite lines from Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God.
“To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love …”
“In God we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing.”
“God formed us for His pleasure, and so formed us that we, as well as He, can, in divine communion, enjoy the sweet and mysterious mingling of kindred personalities. He meant us to see Him and live with Him and draw our life from His smile.”
“A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting our response to His presence. This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality.”
Doesn’t this resonate with you? Doesn’t something within tell you that there’s MORE than you are currently experiencing with your 5 senses? These words of Tozer have inspired me for years.
In the beginning of his book, it says this:
“Others before me have gone much farther into these holy mysteries than I have done, but if my fire is not large it is yet real, and there may be those who can light their candle at its flame.”
Thank you, A.W., for lighting my candle. I hope I can do the same for others. God is real – I love experiencing His presence and His nearness. Don’t you?
Rating: Strange, inspirational
This has got to be one of the strangest experiences I have had with the unseen realm. It happened in Garden Valley, Texas. When I was in college, my boyfriend attended a school that was held at Last Days Ministries, started by Keith and Melody Green. This experience happened about 1989.
I had driven over from Louisiana to Texas to visit my boyfriend. There were girls’ dorms and boys’ dorms. It was during Spring break so most people were gone. There were only a few girls left in the dorms. My boyfriend had one of the girls show me to an empty room where I could stay for the night. There were 4 bunk beds in the room and a few dressers. The room looked crowded with the four bunk beds – each one had 3 beds (vertically). It was quite a sight. I could not imagine what it must have been like for those girls to share a room with 12 women. I was thankful I would be the only one there that night.
I got ready for bed and turned out the light. Boy, was it dark! Even when my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I couldn’t see the room or the other beds around mine. I had elected to stay in the middle bunk of the 3 vertical beds. It was easier to get in and out of – the top one was too high and the bottom one was almost on the floor.
I fell asleep and suddenly woke up very afraid. I lay perfectly still, straining my ears and eyes to figure out what was making me so afraid. I didn’t hear anything and I couldn’t see anything in the darkened room. For some reason, I was terrified. I did not have a nightmare. I woke up to a presence in the room that made me very scared.
I desperately wanted to leave the bedroom, but it was so dark and I was so frightened that I was afraid to leave the bed. I didn’t know what to do. I closed my eyes and tried to block out the fear. I thought maybe if I just laid there quietly, I would fall asleep or the fear would go away. It didn’t work. I opened my eyes again. The fear was with me as palpable as if someone was in the room ready to kill me. My anxiety was mounting. I really wanted to leave the room now, but it was so dark I was petrified to do so. I could not see the door to the room and I felt disoriented – I remembered that there was a lot of furniture in the room, but I couldn’t make out where it was and I didn’t want to try and run across the room and fall on something.
I closed my eyes and prayed, “Jesus, please help me!” I opened my eyes again and suddenly the room was filled with light! I stared at the room, looking around quickly. Then it went dark again. Still feeling deeply afraid, I thought, “I’ve got to go NOW!” I jumped out of the bed and dashed to the door. Once I got out in the hallway, I saw light coming from under a door nearby. I pushed gently on the door and discovered it was a large bathroom with several sinks and stalls. There was a woman there. She introduced herself as Ana. She took one look at me and asked if I was okay.
I told her I was afraid. That something made me uncomfortable in the room. She walked with me to the main gathering room where there were couches. We sat and talked. I told her what happened. I normally didn’t talk about these things back then because people didn’t understand when I did. But somehow I knew she would listen and not judge me or think I was crazy. When I asked what time it was, she said it was a little after midnight. So I’d only been asleep maybe an hour or so.
As we sat there talking, another woman came in the front door. She spoke to us briefly and then went to her room. I asked Ana if there was a reason my room was suddenly filled with light. When I saw the girl come in, I thought to myself, “Oh, maybe a car pulled up and dropped her off. That would explain the bright lights shining in my room.” Ana walked with me back to the room. I pointed out which way I had been laying in the bed and where the light was coming from. There was a window on that wall. I started to assume the natural explanation to my weird experience and said so to Ana.
She shook her head and said, “Come here.” She opened the blinds and had me look out the window. She said, “Look, your room is on the back of this building. The parking lot is in the front. No cars drive back here. Look for yourself.” I stepped closer to the window and looked around. Sure enough, there was a large empty field back there. No street lights, no place for a car to drive, nothing. It was like undeveloped land – just open empty space. There wasn’t even a dirt path for walking. [The next day I went outside during the daytime and confirmed this.]
I walked away and shook my head. Both Ana and I puzzled about it and could not come up with any natural way that bright lights could have shone into my room. The only explanation I have come up with is that when I asked Jesus for help, He sent a couple of angels to bring light to my darkness so I could escape my fear.
She and I prayed together. I went back to bed and slept until morning with no other weird experiences.
So, was it angels? I have always thought so. Part of what convinced me was the timing. Total blackness and fear in the room. I asked Jesus for help, opened my eyes and the room was filled with light. Then after I got a chance to look around and get my bearings, it went dark again. Completely dark. What are the odds of it happening that way by chance?
Many people experience light in the presence of angels. Usually a comforting light. Even the show, Touched by an Angel, used a light halo to cause angel Monica to glow whenever she revealed her true identity.
Have you ever experienced supernatural light when you really needed it? Feel free to share below! Tell me I’m not alone please. 🙂