It has been on my heart recently to host a “God Gathering” – a place where people can gather to seek the Lord. In the old days, people referred to this as “tarrying in the presence of the Lord”. It’s not exactly a prayer meeting – I’m not sure what to call it so I call it a “God Gathering”. 🙂
I have hosted many of these over the years and it occurred to me last night that there may be someone who doesn’t know how to do this so here’s how I do it – in case it might inspire someone else to host a God Gathering of their own!
- Make sure you are hosting the God Gathering for the right reasons. The Holy Spirit is usually the one who initiates the invitation by putting it on my heart to host one. You do not want to do this just because you feel like it – it won’t work. I had a friend call me one time and ask me to host one for her. I had a feeling she was motivated by emotion more than by the Spirit because she seemed upset and hosting the meeting was a reaction to her emotional turmoil. She contacted a bunch of people and twelve of them said they would come. I prepared for it, but I had this sense that this was an empty endeavor. Sure enough, the day for the meeting arrived and she was the only one who showed up. We sat together, quietly talking. When it became obvious that no one else was coming (not even other spiritual leaders, pastors, etc. that had promised to come), I told her I had a sense that it just wasn’t the right time. She agreed and went home. This was a clear object lesson for me – don’t be tempted to do this on your own. Wait for His timing.
- Prepare the environment. I usually do this by cleaning the room where we will be meeting and playing some soaking music softly in the background. I often do this a few days before and just let the music keep playing. My brother used to tell me he could tell the angels liked it when he left the soaking music on. I’m not aware of that but it does help your mind to focus on the Lord every time you hear the music. Some suggestions for soaking music are here.
- Send out an invitation and make sure people are clear on why you are hosting this meeting. You want to make sure that the people who are coming are sincerely wanting to connect with the Lord. This is not just a social gathering. If parents ask, I don’t usually include young children because it’s hard for them to sit still (though I have seen some children who really like these kinds of meetings, but it is rare). You want an environment with no distractions.
- Prepare the spiritual environment. Once the people have gathered and greeted each other, I turn down the lighting to signal that it’s time to begin. Then I pray some specific prayers to prepare the spiritual environment and our hearts for an encounter with Jesus.
- Pray over the room, asking the Lord to wash it and commanding everything else to leave. For example, “Lord, thank You for meeting with us. We are here for You. Would You please wash off this room and remove anything that does not belong here? No spirits of the enemy are allowed to stay here – leave now, in Jesus’ name.”
- Pray over the people, asking the Lord to wash us off and remove any distractions from hindering our time with Him. For example, “Lord, I ask that You wash us off from all that we’ve picked up today. Would You please draw us close to You? Open our hearts and minds to hear from You. Please remove any distracting influences during our time together.”
- Invite the Holy Spirit to come. Yes, the Lord is already there, but there’s something about this step that prepares YOU to hear from Him. For example, “Holy Spirit, we invite You to come. You are welcome in this place. Please increase our awareness of Your presence.” There’s a difference between the omnipresence of God and the tangible manifest presence of God. We are seeking His manifest presence.
- Invite Wisdom and Revelation. For example, “Wisdom and Revelation, come. We welcome you. We invite you to speak to us and show us God’s glory and goodness.” I don’t know how this works, but I know that when I do this it shifts the atmosphere. Some say these are specific angels that are released to minister – others say these are aspects of the Spirit of the Lord. Either way, you are welcoming them to reveal the Lord’s goodness and glory. I don’t have to understand it for it to work (like electricity, right?). Childlike faith is simple and powerful.
- Wait expectantly. At this point, I often turn the music up just a little bit so we can hear it and drown out any other sounds. It helps us to focus without distraction. Often the presence of the Lord has been building with each prayer of invitation spoken so now we just enjoy Him. I often find a smile bursting on my face because He’s HERE in such a tangible way – I am so happy to be with Him. Sometimes I whisper my love and worship to Him – trying not to distract anyone, but at the same time honoring who He is to me. Others may also whisper their love and worship. 🙂 Some people sit, some lay down on the floor, some kneel – each one is free to do whatever feels comfortable for them. (I have tile floors so when I host these, I often put big cushions on the floor and some fluffy throw rugs for people to lay on, if they want to.) Sometimes people pace at the end of the room – that’s okay too. It’s important for each person to be free to be themselves. I also make sure there is paper and pens on the coffee tables in case anyone needs to write what the Lord is saying to them, especially if they wish to give it to someone else.
- Receive from His presence. Just being together in God’s presence is incredibly refreshing and healing. We often just sit quietly and soak up His presence. No one is moving or talking – just being together. Letting God be God.
- Ask people to share. After a time of waiting on God, I will often feel prompted to lower the music a little bit and then I ask, “Would anyone like to share what the Lord is showing them?” One by one people share what the Lord shared with them – it could be a Scripture verse, a new insight into His goodness and care, a word, a song or a vision. Scripture says, “When you gather for worship, each one of you be prepared with something that will be useful for all: Sing a hymn, teach a lesson, tell a story, lead a prayer, provide an insight. Take your turn, no one person taking over. Then each speaker gets a chance to say something special from God, and you all learn from each other.” I Corinthians 14 The Message.
- Respond to each thing that is shared. This is really important and some people miss this. Pay attention to what the Lord is saying through each person who shares. Acknowledge what has been shared (thank the person) and then ask the Lord if there’s anything that needs to be done. I am often doing this internally while the person shares, asking the Lord to direct us. Sometimes it is obvious – perhaps something the person shares relates to a current event that needs to be prayed for. Ask that person to lead in prayer, others can join in after they pray. Usually the person who gets the insight or revelation has the authority to pray it out. If someone gets a word of knowledge or word of wisdom for an individual in the meeting, they should offer to minister to that person. Maybe they need prayer – but don’t force it. Ask them first. Sometimes it is not obvious right away what the Lord is saying but after 2-3 people share, you might see a theme emerging that guides you. Ask the Holy Spirit – in fact, I often just stop everything and say out loud, “Holy Spirit, what do You want us to do with this?” and we all just wait. If you don’t hear or sense anything, then just move to the next person who wants to share.
- Pray for each other. After everyone has had a chance to share what the Lord showed them, ask if anyone needs prayer. If there are many needs and time is running out, break up into pairs or groups of three and pray for each other. This is so important – we have no idea how much the people around us are in need until we ask. Asking for prayer requests tends to open people up like nothing else does – this is often the most precious part of these gatherings as people feel safe enough to be vulnerable and transparent about their pain and struggles. This is the body of Christ loving on one another – first we love God and receive His love, then we love one another. ❤
- Close in prayer. You’d think you could skip this step since so much prayer has been going on all night, right? But there’s something about “closing” that feels right. For example, “Lord, thank You so much for meeting with us tonight. We enjoy Your presence so much! Thank You for all You did tonight. We ask that You seal these prayers and all that happened here. We love You.”
I have not encountered too many church meetings that follow this format. But every time I follow it, the Lord comes powerfully and everyone leaves very happy, refreshed and blessed.
I wonder if you could do this virtually. Could you have an online God Gathering using video chat? What do you think? Would it work?
Is there anything you do that helps you and your friends connect with God? Please feel free to share it. I love new ideas!
I just finished reading a 3-book supernatural fiction series by Lisa Bergren called Remnants. It is VERY good. I recommend it.
Book description: Our coming was foretold by the elders— Those who would change the future, just as the planet teetered on the edge of darkness. Born on the prophesied day with birthmarks in the form of a crescent moon, they knew us immediately. Swaddled and screaming, we were spirited away by those who hid us, trained us, and kept us safe until our time came. They poured their lives into us. Some died to save us.
And now we, the Remnants, protected by Knights of the Last Order, have gathered. Called until we breathe our last … to save the world. Amazon link
Although it is written for a young adult audience, the story, characters and plot line are much better than a lot of YA fiction I’ve seen. This has depth and some really good illustrations about the supernatural world that are worth reading.
I’ve been looking for this kind of fiction for the last twenty years – ever since I read Frank Peretti’s, This Present Darkness about angels and demons battling it out over the human affairs of life.
Remnants gives you an insider’s view of what it is like to discover you have supernatural gifts – particularly some of the gifts we talk about on this blog. Like being able to sense spirits – good ones or bad ones. Being able to sense another person’s soul or emotions. It also has a LOT of battle scenes between good and evil, using both natural elements like sword fighting as well as supernatural elements like prayer.
The story develops and unfolds over three books and it’s definitely worth reading. In fact, I appreciated that this was not a “preachy” Christian book. It dealt with some hard subjects like family conflict, reconciliation, betrayal, forgiveness, guarding your thoughts against negativity and avoiding sexual immorality. The main characters grew in their faith and in their gifting as they encountered and overcame many different kinds of obstacles to their mission. They also learn the power of being part of the community of faith and learning to follow the advice of their elders. It never mentions Jesus but instead refers to God as “Maker”. I think the author probably used that as a means to reach an audience that may or may not be Christians. I think it is very effective. The main theme is trusting God no matter what the circumstances look like – a good reminder to us all!
The author was asked about the spiritual aspect of the book – she replied:
Lisa: I believe there is an unseen realm that we humans spend little time considering, but should. Once you begin walking the road of faith, it’s like you put on glasses that allow you to see more and more of it. But I don’t get hung up on angels and demons, because my soul has already been won, and there’s enough to deal with here in our physical world. But are there battles? Yes. Every day, every hour. Given that the Remnants are all about fighting off the dark and leading others toward the light, angels and demons will logically take a bit more stage time with each book. But our human characters will remain the focus.
I could relate to the characters and their struggles – it made me stop and think a few times. It’s rare when a fiction book is that deep and carries such truth. Kudos to the author, Lisa Bergren! 🙂
(You can read more about the spiritual aspect of this series in the author’s online interview here, if you’re interested.)
The other day around 5am, I woke up coughing. I realized I could hardly breathe – my chest was very “tight” and my nose was stuffed. I was surprised because I don’t have asthma or allergies and I didn’t have a cold. I had been deeply asleep when I suddenly sat up and started coughing. As I was struggling to clear my airways, I became aware that I was not alone in the room.
I could sense a presence next to me – as though someone (or something) was sitting on the bed next to me. I was focused on trying to clear my lungs but I kept glancing over, feeling very uncomfortable. I wasn’t afraid – just disturbed, like you would be if you woke up and a stranger was sitting on your bed.
I started praying and asking the Lord what was going on. The only impression I got was the Spirit of Death. But it was a faint impression – like an outline of a shadow. I tried to see if any legal ground for the Spirit of Death came to mind. Nothing.
I kept praying, trying to “clear the air”: First, I came out of agreement with the Spirit of Death. Then I commanded any spirit not sent there by Jesus to leave NOW. I closed any open doors to the enemy’s realm and sealed them with the blood of Jesus.
It felt a little “lighter” in my room, but that “thing” was still there. I didn’t feel threatened – it wasn’t that strong. I was just annoyed and wanted to go back to sleep.
I remembered some “emergency maneuvers” I had learned and implemented them. Finally, the air cleared completely! Whew! Thank goodness for my earlier training in spiritual warfare. I certainly didn’t want to go back to sleep with that spirit next to me in bed. Creepy!
As I was settling down to fall asleep, I thought, “I should share these Emergency Maneuvers on this blog in case anyone else finds themselves in a similar situation”. If you pray and rebuke and command and everything else you can think of and things aren’t shifting, then try some of these:
- Start talking about the Blood of Jesus. The enemy hates the blood of Jesus. Start thanking God for the blood OUT LOUD. Sing songs about the blood of Jesus. Read or quote scriptures about the blood out loud. Focus on it for a while & things will shift.
- Pray in tongues. This is always a good strategy – when you don’t know what else to do and you have no direction from the Holy Spirit, praying in tongues can do wonders. An elderly Sunday School teacher once told me, “Ask the Holy Spirit to pray through you the perfect prayer that is needed for the situation and then pray in tongues.” I always keep this one in mind if I ever feel too foggy mentally – sometimes you just can’t even think straight to pray.
- Worship and sing. Worship can be in spoken words or in song – it doesn’t matter. Singing songs can be comforting to your heart and mind, reminding you of God’s power and might. But in my experience, it also specifically increases my awareness of the presence of God. In other words, more of God’s presence fills the room, pushing out any other presence that doesn’t belong there.
I put some Vicks on my chest and was able to fall back to sleep, thankfully. That afternoon on my way home from an appointment, I saw a vehicle that made me stop and stare. Ahead of me in traffic was a white boxy sedan with a white casket attached to the top. The casket was decorated with plastic skulls. The back window said in large letters: DEATH. There was a statue attached to the casket that looked right down at you when you pulled up behind the vehicle – it was the spirit of death (a black hooded cape with no face and no hands – like an invisible being). I was shocked! I almost took a photo of it to post here, but then I thought, “That is so creepy – I don’t want to pass this on to anyone who views the photo!” Here’s an example – a black hood and cape. Imagine the arms stretched to either side in a menacing stance. That’s a pretty good depiction of that spirit (kind of like the grim reaper).
When my husband got home that night I told him about both events to see if he got any insight from the Lord as to why this was happening. He said he got two words “despair” and “suicide”. Since neither one of us felt that, I asked the Lord to show me who was feeling that way. That evening I baked some sweet bread and took a few slices to my neighbor. She answered the door in her robe and said, “Please pray for me – the depression is really bad right now.” I knew she had been suffering with a lot of pain and was counting down the days until she could have a procedure done that might bring relief.
I asked if I could pray for her right then; I took her hand when she said yes. I prayed against the depression, heaviness and any thoughts of despair or suicide. She agreed with me by saying, Amen.
As I walked back home, the Lord reminded me that about 2 weeks ago she had mentioned to me that she was in so much pain, she had considered ending her life. We talked about it and she made jokes about her husband looking good in all black – he happened to be walking behind us dressed in all black. I told her I would pray for her and I had. Later I looked up the condition she had and an article said it was called “the suicide disease” because so many people find the pain so unbearable that it drives them to consider suicide.
Wow, thank God He gave me a warning to be on the look out for this spirit of death. I’ve been checking on her every day since then – her procedure is in 3 days. Would you mind saying a prayer for her that she finds relief from the pain?
Let me know if you have any emergency maneuvers that you use when nothing else seems to work. Comment below – I’d love to hear them!
By the way, you see why I write this blog – you can’t make this stuff up! It’s just too unusual.
Lately I’ve been paying attention to the words people use. I’m noticing a pattern – especially after my 3:30am Battle the other night. Some words are like a trap door – if we’re not careful, we will fall into believing they are true. Here’s a list of deadly words that are often used:
- No one
When we use these words, it is rarely accurate (meaning there is deception in there somewhere). Often these words are used to manipulate our emotions – to bring death to our soul instead of life. Whether we speak them or someone speaks them to us (or we simply hear them in our head), they make the situation seem hopeless. That’s deadly!
- Nobody listens to me.
- No one cares what I have to say.
- Nothing ever works out for me.
- Everybody has a _(job, car, spouse, child, etc)_ except me.
- Everyone else has it better than me.
- Everything is my fault.
- I’ll never get that job I want.
- I always get blamed for everything!
I once had a male friend that whenever his girlfriend would say, “You never …” or “You always …”, he would reply. “Darlin’, I’m not that good. I never always do the same thing.” and he would kind of chuckle with a twinkle in his eye. He was trying to lighten the mood while also reminding her that he was just as human and unpredictable as we all are.
When we use sweeping words like Never, Always, Everything or Nothing, it can make us feel like our circumstances will not change. It saps our hope for the future. It can make us feel powerless to make changes for our good – which actually becomes kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy. My husband often tells me, “If you believe something, life has a way of proving you right. So if you believe nothing ever works out for you, you’ll be proven right. But if you believe things will work out for you, they often do.” It goes both ways.
When those sweeping words are used against us, it’s usually an accusation. And like my friend said – we’re human and unpredictable and we rarely ALWAYS do the same thing.
It’s good to pay attention to the words you use (or are used against you) and determine if they are TRUE. Especially when that voice in your head says them. [Remember we recently discussed God’s Voice vs Other Voices: How Can You Tell the Difference?]
Context is Key
It occurred to me that the positive side of these statement can also be manipulation and deception.
- Nobody can do this as well as you can!
- No one stands a chance against you.
- Nothing can stop you now.
- Everybody wants to be your friend.
- Everyone admires you.
- Everything you do is amazing!
- You’ll never regret taking that job.
- I’ll always be there for you.
Most of these sound like positive, encouraging statements … except that they are deceptive. They are focused on inflating your ego with false expectations – not good and not realistic. A set up for disappointment.
How Do I Get Out of This Trap?
So how do we keep out of the extremes? Think carefully about what you want to say (or what you hear). Keep it balanced. Try substituting words like Some or Might. Notice how changing these words takes the “bite” out of those negative statements:
- Some people don’t listen to me.
- Some people don’t care what I have to say.
- Some things don’t work out for me.
- Some people have a _(job, car, spouse, child, etc)_, but not everyone.
- Some people have it better than me but not everyone.
- Some things are my fault.
- I might not get that job I want.
- I might get blamed for some things that I didn’t do.
Pay attention to the accusations you hear in your own mind. Change the wording. See if that seems more accurate. It will empower you to take action instead of feeling like a victim.
Don’t allow these words to manipulate your feelings – leading you to a sense of hopelessness that things will “never” change. That’s not God speaking to you, I promise. His words bring hope.
There’s always hope.
(See, there’s a healthy use of the word “always”. There are a few of them. Use it sparingly.)
Last night a young lady called me. She’s in a very sticky situation.
She is currently separated from her husband. A young man from church started pursuing a relationship with her. She’s not interested in him romantically and has made that clear. But they are talking and becoming friends due to their common interest in the things of God.
She told me, “I’m trying to free myself from this guy. I just want to focus on my relationship with Jesus and healing my heart! But for some reason, I keep feeling like I’m forced to be his friend and maybe more some day. I’m praying and praying, but I can’t get any peace. What can I do?”
Whew! That’s tough. When you are praying and yet don’t see the results you had hoped for, what can you do?
We talked for some time. She’s been growing rapidly in hearing from God and learning His ways.
One thing she said that caught my attention – “feeling forced” to be his friend.
I asked her about it. She said she feels this pressure and she wonders if it’s God or not. She’s afraid to cut things off with him because she’s not sure if maybe God WANTS her to be friends with him.
I told her that there’s a big difference between following the leading of the Lord and the feeling of being forced or pushed.
I sent her this chart I made to help her discern when it’s God voice or some other voice.
She immediately replied:
“Wow, I havent realized how much of the other voices I’ve been listening to because I wasn’t sure whether they were from God or not. It’s so clear now.”
I know this chart has helped me – sometimes when we feel unclear about something and especially if our emotions are involved, this can help bring clarity about exactly whose voice we are following.
Some charts I’ve seen contrast God’s voice to Satan’s voice. I chose to contrast God’s voice to “other voices” because sometimes that voice is our own! We are sometimes our own worst enemy – we tell ourselves what we “should” be doing, using guilt and manipulation to get ourselves to do things. Sometimes that “other voice” is someone in our lives giving us advice or telling us what we should do. This chart can help us figure out whether what they are saying lines up with the Lord’s voice. And yes, sometimes that “other voice” is the enemy, Satan, whispering things into our minds (which sounds like our own thoughts).
I encouraged her to keep that chart somewhere she could refer to it frequently. You might want to do the same.
So how do you know when it’s God’s voice versus Other voices? Feel free to share your experience below. What advice would you have given her?
Would you please share this post in your favorite social media to help others discern who’s voice they are hearing? Thank you! 🙂
Yesterday on the way to the doctor, I heard this song in my head – it’s a worship song from the 1990’s.
The enemy whispered into my mind determined to wear me down. Alert in the Spirit I am not blind – my confession of faith has the enemy bound! I will rejoice; I will rejoice – I will rejoice for I’ve made my CHOICE to rejoice in the Lord! – Bob Fitts, I Will Rejoice, Maranatha Music
Odd. I haven’t heard that song in years. I wonder why that song would suddenly pop into my head. I even remembered the lyrics clearly. Hmm, maybe this is for a reason? The day was busy, life went on and before I knew it, it was bedtime and I fell asleep.
I awakened at 3:30am – time to empty my bladder. As I rolled back under the covers, I was immediately assaulted with all kinds of doubts and disturbing thoughts. One minute I was still in “sleepy-brain mode” and the next, I am wide awake and can’t sleep.
Earlier this week, I had sent out an email to our closest friends asking for prayer for my husband’s upcoming surgery. A few had responded, but many had not. No response – why?
My mind started churning, thinking about the email. I had specifically requested a response, especially since we all get inundated with so many emails. I wanted/needed to know they were supporting us in prayer.
I began to doubt myself – maybe my email wasn’t worded correctly. Maybe that’s why they didn’t respond. Maybe our friends just didn’t care enough to respond – some of our relationships didn’t feel as close as they used to. Could people have just stopped caring about us?
The more I experienced these thoughts, my emotions were being stirred up. I tried several times to quiet my mind and go back to sleep. Impossible!
I could feel this emotional pressure pushing on me. I felt small, vulnerable, unloved, insignificant, uncared for … basically invisible. All because a few friends didn’t reply to my email.
Wait – that didn’t add up for me. I’m not usually like that.
Suddenly a light-bulb went off – this is an ATTACK!
I was still feeling it, but now I knew this was more than just random thoughts. This was an assignment from the enemy to hurt me.
So I prayed – out loud. “Jesus, please help me. What’s going on? What IS this?”
It suddenly became obvious to me – this is Baal! (that’s the gift of discernment at work)
Baal is a very common name mentioned in the Old Testament. You might remember the showdown between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Baal was this god that demanded human sacrifice – he was a very violent, bloody god associated with child abuse, rage, greed and lust.
I call him “the orphan maker”. All the fruit of his works leads people to believe they are orphans in this world – that no one really cares about them or will protect them from evil. In modern lingo, we refer to this as the “victim mentality”. Poor me, nobody knows what it’s like to be me, my life sucks, nobody cares, I’m all alone, etc.
We’ve all felt that way at one time or another. Probably more often than we are willing to admit.
Once I realized the pattern in the thoughts that were bombarding me at 3:30am (now it was 5am), I recognized this as the assignment of Baal. [By the way, that’s what I call it. You might have a different name for it – that’s okay. You get the main idea, right? Just stick to that for now.]
Now keep in mind – these were MY thoughts and MY emotions I was experiencing. They sounded like me – until something didn’t add up. I don’t usually get so worked up about whether or not someone responds to an email. I know everyone is busy – I would have just sent it again about a week later and said, “Hey, did you get this?” No big deal.
The devil overplayed his hand. When things didn’t add up – that’s when it occurred to me, “Hey, these are NOT my usual thoughts. Something’s not right here!” Maybe the sleepy-brain was interfering with my ability to distinguish this sooner, who knows? Either way, I got it – finally. After wasting an hour and half tossing and turning.
The Lord taught me a strategy for dealing with Baal (aka orphan thinking) in the past:
DON’T RESPOND. Don’t look at what he wants you to focus on. Look at God’s goodness instead. Pay attention to the love of God instead.
So that’s what I did. In my heart and mind, I immediately stopped obsessing about the email and started thinking about God’s goodness to me. I started thinking things like, “It doesn’t matter who responded. If we need prayer, God will stir people’s hearts to pray for us. I know he often stirs my heart to pray for our friends. I’m sure He will do that with them too. Of course, they love us – they’re just busy living life. I don’t have to worry about this because God’s got us. He’s a good father and He is taking very good care of us. God has given me peace about this surgery – I’m not worried. God’s good to us.”
Immediately all the mental and emotional distress I had been feeling literally VANISHED! Like instantly – as soon as I turned my mind and heart to focus on God’s care for me. It was amazing. The darkness dispersed – POW! No more negative emotions – no more emotional pressure. No more stress!
I felt light and peaceful inside. Whew! Yay, God!! YOU ARE AMAZING, JESUS!! ❤
I felt so peaceful I started to drift off to sleep – at 5:30am. Just as I’m nodding off, my husband got up to go to work. Now I was awake. I got up with him. He had a particularly hard morning and I’m glad I got up with him. I helped him get off to work.
The timing felt significant – it was important that I was awake when I was so I could help him. I was actually more alert than he was – sometimes he wonders about that, but what can I tell him? “I’m wide awake because I’ve been fighting with Baal for the last 2 hours?” I did tell him later but not then – he’s still had sleepy-brain. 🙂
As I headed back to bed, I thought about the fact that sons and daughters are led by the Spirit. That’s a hallmark of adoption. It may have felt like a sleepless night to me, but in reality it was just me being a daughter of God. Being led by Him to do battle with dark forces at 3:30am (which is actually a prime time for that).
When I got up a few hours later, I wanted to post this somewhere:
But I thought it might be too weird for some people. So instead I posted this:
If the enemy can get you to doubt the love and goodness of God toward you, he’s won. Don’t believe his lies for a second!
Now I know why that song was playing in my head yesterday! Those words turned out to be the exact strategy I needed to overcome!
Here they are again:
The enemy whispered into my mind determined to wear me down. Alert in the Spirit I am not blind – my confession of faith has the enemy bound! I will rejoice; I will rejoice – I will rejoice for I’ve made my CHOICE to rejoice in the Lord! – Bob Fitts, I Will Rejoice, Maranatha Music
Too weird, huh? Yeah, that’s why I write this blog. These things happen to me a lot. I don’t feel comfortable just casually sharing these kind of things. Can you imagine having this conversation with a friend:
“So, how was your day?”
“Well, pretty good. I spent 2 hours fighting demons and then realized that the battle strategy I needed was given to me earlier in the day in some song lyrics from the last century. I lost sleep but somehow God orchestrated it beautifully so that I could help my husband get off to work this morning. I now know a little bit more about the demonic assignment of Baal and I’m telling the world through my blog. So, how about you? What’s new?”
I certainly hope this article helps somebody somewhere. Please let me know if it does. Because I sure WISH I had this knowledge when I was a younger Christian. It can feel overwhelming when the enemy floods your mind like that and you don’t know what to do. Now I know and I’m telling you – SO GO BE DANGEROUS to the kingdom of darkness, okay?
Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear if this post helped you. Thanks 🙂
P.S. If you want to hear the original song I’m referring to, here’s the YouTube Link:
One of the ways God speaks to us is through dreams. Has this ever happened to you?
How can you tell when it’s God speaking to you? Sometimes it is obvious and other times, you might not be so sure.
Here’s a dream I had recently where it was obvious to me that God was speaking to me.
I dreamed that I was in a house. I picked up some papers from my father’s desk. It was an article that I was interviewed for back in 1993. My father was coming down the hall toward the room I was in and we were talking about the papers. As soon as he was in the room, we heard a loud noise and wind started blowing very strongly. I realized it was a tornado and immediately my father and I went toward each other. We grabbed each other’s arms so we wouldn’t get separated in the storm. He said something but the storm was so loud, I couldn’t hear him. The wind died down for a few seconds and I heard him say, “Would you turn …” but then the wind increased and I couldn’t hear the rest. I said, “What?” really loud, trying to be heard above the noise. He spoke again, “Would you turn your head so I can tell you I love you?”
This time I heard him clearly. I suddenly realized I had lost some of my hearing in my left ear. This surprised me because I didn’t know this and he did. When I turned my right ear toward him, I heard him clearly – he was so close I could feel his breath as he spoke.
Immediately I woke up – my husband had awakened me because it was time to go to a doctor’s appointment for him to be cleared for surgery.
I knew this was a dream from God. How did I know?
- I remembered the dream in detail. When God wants to speak to us in a dream, then obviously we will remember it clearly. Many times I remember little bits and pieces of a dream, but when I can clearly remember the whole dream in detail, I pay attention. God may be speaking to me.
- The dream involved my father. From my personal experience with God, whenever I dream about my natural father, it represents God, my heavenly Father. That may not be true of everyone – this is just how God relates to me.
- There was a clear message – God wants me to know that He loves me. The feeling I had when I woke up stayed with me all day. It was more than just a natural father’s love – it had a depth and completeness to it that is hard to describe. I felt embraced by this love in my entire being – it created not only comfort but a strong sense of security and protection. I was safe and cared for in His love!
- I couldn’t stop thinking about the dream all day long. Many times when God is trying to get your attention, He will make sure the dream stays fresh in your mind until you get the entire message.
There are many layers of interpretation in this dream as it relates to my personal life. One obvious one for me was the timing of the dream. I had it on the day my husband was going to doctors appointments to be cleared for major surgery. What perfect timing to be reminded that God has been with me in the past during turbulent times and He is with me now. And He loves me – He will take care of us. ❤
I have also heard that often dreams from God involve bright colors – you’ll remember a specific color that was in your dream (i.e. someone was wearing a green shirt or you saw a red stop sign). I don’t recall any specific colors in this dream. It has been my experience that color does play a role – if I have a difficult dream that is all in shades of gray and black, it is often a revelation of the strategy of the enemy. I pay attention to those too and ask the Lord what I need to know. It may reveal what is happening in the unseen realm regarding me, my family or something happening in my region or nation. Often He will show me something I need to be praying about.
Sometimes dreams are confusing – the best thing to do is simply ask God to show you what He is saying, if the dream is from Him. Meditate on any themes or feelings you had in the dream. Sometimes you’ll get greater clarity if you take the time to write it down or tell it to a friend. But if no insight comes, don’t worry about it. God has ways of getting your attention. He’ll get the message through to you one way or another!
Have you ever had a dream that you knew was from God? What did it tell you? How did it help you? Feel free to share it with us below.
At 1:30am, I awoke to the voice of God. It surprised me. I wasn’t expecting it – I had been deeply asleep.
How do I know it was God?
- It came out of nowhere. I didn’t initiate this.
- It was full of compassion and love.
- It was a complete thought instantly – an immediate download of information that came with such sudden depth of understanding that I did not have before it came. It was instant insight that took me 9 paragraphs to record in my journal.
What did it “sound” like?
Like my own voice in my thoughts. But I knew it wasn’t MY thoughts for several reasons.
- I couldn’t have made this up. This was entirely new insight that I didn’t have before.
- It was not a logical progression of thoughts, one by one, like what normally happens when I am trying to figure something out. It was like a waterfall of instant understanding. (Like Neo in The Matrix receiving instant information about how to fly a helicopter.)
- I was asleep and was awakened just as it started. That’s not normally the way my mind works. It takes me awhile to wake up and start thinking clearly.
- It was full of love and compassion.
- It started with, “It’s not what you think it is …” Why would I say that if it was my own thoughts?
I write this as an example for those who are unfamiliar with hearing from God. There are times like this where you KNOW it’s God. It’s not always this clear. And that list of how I know it was God is not a checklist – it doesn’t always happen that way.
What IS pretty consistent is the waterfall of new insight – to me that’s a clear indication that I’m hearing from God. You can’t make this stuff up. And if the insight is connected with selfless love and compassion, you can’t go wrong. Some people tell me they are hearing from God, but I wonder about that when it’s not leading them toward Love.
Always look for the Love – the insight should come with love, or move you toward greater compassion. That’s the litmus test of authenticity that you are hearing from God. Look for the Love! ❤
Did you know that you can enjoy the companionship of Jesus Christ?
I don’t often hear this mentioned when people discuss matters of faith. Jesus Christ is real – He’s alive and active in the world today. He wasn’t just a historical figure known for teaching people to love one another. Most people have heard that he was killed (crucified, you’ve seen the statues, right?), but did you know He also rose from the dead? (Maybe it’s a little harder to make that into a statue.)
Jesus is the only one who died, came back to life in his physical body and then went to heaven (without dying again). What’s unique is that He told His disciples before He left – I will always be with you. (Matthew 28:20)
This is not something theoretical – this is real and practical. Have you ever experienced the companionship of Christ?
The other night I was laying in bed thinking of something – praying about something that was on my mind. I can’t recall now exactly what it was. Probably worried about someone I love – that’s usually what’s on my mind before I fall asleep. As I was talking to Jesus, I became aware of His presence. One minute I was alone in the room, talking to the ceiling and the next minute I was not. He was there. It was a gentle, comforting sense that He was listening, paying attention, keeping me company.
I was reminded that Jesus said, “I will ask the Father and he will give you another Comforter.” And He promised about this Comforter, “He will never leave you.” (John 14:16)
In The Message Bible, it says it like this:
“I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you.”
That’s really unique. A Friend who will always be with you.
Companionship is really important – we are not meant to do life alone. Though if we’re honest, most of us feel alone. In our innermost thoughts and worries, no one really knows what we’re thinking or how we are feeling.
Even when surrounded by other people, many people feel alone. There’s just no way another person can know what it’s like to be YOU.
Except Jesus. He’s the exception – He can know. That’s really amazing, isn’t it?
When you allow Him into your life, He brings with Him the knowledge He has about you, about life, about other people and what they are like. And most of all – He brings His love, His comforting presence, His companionship.
He wants to be our companion in life. He wants us to enjoy His friendship – to be aware of His ever-present help and support.
I love that about Him. Think about the story of Adam and Eve in the garden. It was God who came looking for them. Why? To spend time with them. You get the impression from the story that He often came “walking in the garden in the cool of the day” to hang out with Adam and Eve. He likes our company.
I encourage you to consider the companionship of Christ. He can be with you if you’d like. Invite Him to make you aware of His presence. Talk to Him. Look for Him. Give yourself permission to enjoy and receive His friendship.
He likes you and He enjoys being with you. ❤
Looking for more? This article appears in a free ebook called Intimate Relationship with God – you can download it here. 🙂
Having a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ is better than any relationship you can have with another human being anywhere in the world. When you know Him and you allow Him to know you (to come into your heart and life) – it’s the best thing you can ever experience. I don’t even have words to describe the incredible benefits that this life-giving connection has on your body, soul and spirit.
We all long for connection. To feel like someone “gets” us or understands us on a very deep, personal level. Have you ever had a special experience happen to you and afterwards you immediately thought of that one person you wanted to tell? Why did you think of them specifically? Because you share a very personal connection with them and they would understand why that experience was so special to you.
That’s called intimacy – when we know someone well and they know us well. We often share that kind of intimacy with family members – we’ve known each other all our lives so there’s a certain degree of intimacy. They remember what we were like as kids or they were part of significant events in our lives. Shared experiences build a certain kind of intimacy.
But even then, there’s a deeper intimacy we can have with someone where we CHOOSE to share ourselves with them. We find that one special person that we like and trust. It might be a family member or a best friend. With this person, we share our more personal thoughts and emotions, our dreams and our fears – the kind of things we don’t share with just anybody. We reserve them for that special person.
Jesus Christ can be that special person, if you let Him.
One thing that’s really cool about Jesus Christ is that He’s God’s Son. God knows everything! So when you become close to Jesus, He already knows everything about you. I love that. No need to keep secrets or wonder if you should tell Him something – He already knows! This makes Him a great friend because He already knows your favorite color, your favorite music or movies or books, your favorite flavors, your favorite places, etc. Usually it takes a long time for someone to care that much about you to learn those kinds of things and remember them. He already knows all that stuff! (And He loves who you are!)
He also remembers everything. This is helpful when you are dealing with something from your past that you need to talk to someone about. He was there. You can talk to Him about anything because He knows what happened and He can empathize with your emotions about the event (good OR bad or both). This is so incredibly comforting. He lived on the earth so He knows all the stuff we struggle with – the good, the bad AND the ugly. He really knows what it’s like so you can trust Him to understand what you’re going through. He wants to be there for you. And He’s a GREAT listener. ❤
No one understands like Jesus Christ. He “gets” you like no one else on the face of the planet can. He feels what you are feeling. He knows what you are thinking. He loves to hear your voice and to have you talk to Him. Like He literally gets excited to know that you want to talk to Him! He waits to hear your voice.
So, what are you waiting for? Just talk to Him. From your heart. Be honest. Be real. Just be yourself.
Then do it again the next day. Then the next. Pretty soon you’ll be very close and you’ll wonder how you ever made it through a day without spending time with Him.
I hope this has encouraged you. Please feel free to share any thoughts that this post inspired in you.
Looking for more? This article appears in a free ebook called Intimate Relationship with God – you can download it here. 🙂