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Spiritual Exercise

Rating: Educational, inspirational

Recently one of my clients told me he wanted to draw closer to God, but didn’t know how. Faith was new to him. He was raised in a home where no one went to church or prayed or anything so he didn’t really know where to start. He asked me for some direction. Here are some thoughts I shared with him.

Developing a spiritual practice that helps you draw closer to God is really important. But you want to make sure it doesn’t become an empty ritual. It needs to be authentic and based on your desire for God. I discovered early on in my spiritual journey that there is one prayer that God answers every time – asking Him to give you the desire to seek Him. When I first started out, I was excited to talk to God. It was new and different. But then over time, I felt my spiritual fervor waning. At first, I was kind of embarrassed. How do you get the desire for God back?

desire-God prayer

The answer I discovered is this: Admit you lack the desire and ask Him to give it to you. It seems counter-intuitive, but it works. When I ask God to give me the desire to spend time with Him, usually within a day or two it comes. It is not immediate, but it always comes. I’ve done this many times over the years.

So – that’s the first “exercise” I shared with him – ask God for desire. Because without the desire, any spiritual exercise can become an empty ritual.

Then I wrote up a “spiritual exercise” for him. I reached back into my past and tried to remember the first things I was taught that helped me become more closely connected with God. At first, I did these every day as a discipline – whether I felt like it or not. I wanted to teach myself to have a spiritual practice. Then after awhile they became second nature to me. I do them now without even realizing it – they have become part of who I am.

girl praying

These are in a certain order – do them this way for 30 days. After the practice becomes familiar, you can improvise. 🙂

Spiritual Exercise:

1. Acknowledge God – Honor who God is and that you need Him, humble yourself.
2. Confess your self-centered ways – Admit to God and yourself the thoughts and decisions you’ve made in the last 24 hours that were self-centered and apart from Him.
3. Ask the Spirit of God to lead you – Ask Him to show you His ways and the right decisions to make.
4. Open the Bible – Ask for inspiration and then read a passage from the Bible.
5. Turn something from what you read into a prayer – Make it personal to your life.
6. Give thanks – Tell God what you are thankful for.
7. Ask for what you need and finish by thanking God in advance for providing what is needed. He loves it when you thank Him ahead of time because it demonstrates your confidence that He is good and trustworthy. (It also gives you hope.)
8. Sing a song to Him – Learn some worship songs or make up one of your own. Rejoice in the goodness of God and His care for you.

boy-worshipping

This is not a rigid ritual, but more of a practice to teach your heart to turn to the Lord and depend on Him. You will be so glad that you did!

You are dearly loved by God and He is looking forward to talking to you and spending time with you. Did you know that?

So, how about you? Do you have a spiritual practice that you do on a regular basis that helps you to connect with the Lord? Please share it with us!

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Heaven is Movin’ In

danny-hahlbohm-come-for-all

Learn to be familiar with the realm of the Spirit.

Learn to be familiar with this realm that you came from.

Learn to be familiar with the supernatural

‘Cause heaven … Heaven is movin’ in.

 

Don’t be surprised when you have angelic encounters.

Don’t be surprised if you should see the living creatures.

Oh, learn to be familiar with the realm of the Spirit.

Oh, learn to be familiar with this realm that you came from.

Song: Heaven is Movin’ In, Messengers of Fire album by Joann McFatter, Steve Mitchell and Steve Swanson

This album is AMAZING!!! When I play it, I literally feel the “shift” in my living room. I wish this song was on YouTube – I’d give you the link so you could feel it yourself. The album was recorded live at a worship conference – wow, you can really get a taste for what the participants at that conference must have experienced. It is off the charts!

This is my favorite song from the album – it just resonates with me. The entire album is worth every penny. You can download it from JoAnn McFatter’s site here: http://joannmcfatter.com/messengers-of-fire/

Here’s the CD description: Recorded at the Deep Unto Deep worship weekend at Suncoast Worship Center, “Messengers of Fire” captures a visitation from the King. The Lord revealed His heart and His will in a fresh way. This unique CD features a totally spontaneous journey into undiscovered territory. Listen as you hear the King arriving with His heavenly procession. Hear angelic hosts entering the room with an impartation of holy fire! The whole church was caught up in a swirl of glory as He “branded” us with His fire and called us His own! This CD takes you on a journey into the Throne Room and into heavenly realms of God’s Glory! Released 2003

It’s one of those CDs that goes from one song to another without a gap or break between songs. It’s an “experience” – not just a music CD.

Here’s how the song continues – it will raise goose bumps on your arm.

 

(Marching music begins to build in the background)

Heaven is movin’ in, heaven is movin’ in, heaven is movin’ in

Movin’ in, movin’ in, movin’ in, NOW!

Coming down the mountain – angelic hosts,

Step by step, step by step, step by step – holy invasion!

Coming down, coming down, coming down,

Convergence – supernatural invading the natural!

 

Heaven is movin’ in, movin’ in, movin’ in,

Holy invasion!

 

Following the Captain of the Hosts,

Following divine orders:

Release, release, release!

Holy invasion!

 

Time is running out, time is running out, time is running out, time is running out,

time is running out, time is running out, time is running out, time is running out,

time is running out, time is running out, time is running out, time is running out,

time is running out, time is running out, time is running out.

 

(it flows into the next track, “Contact”)

Watchmen on the walls, what do you see?

Watchmen on the walls, what do you hear?

I hear the sound of  a distant thunder; I hear the sound of  a distant thunder.

Watchmen, O Watchmen,

Watchmen, O Watchmen,

Keep your eyes, keep your eyes, keep your eyes and your ears open.

Watchmen, O Watchmen,

Keep your eyes and your ears open to the call, open to the call of the Spirit.

The time is near, the time is at hand!

 

The Day of the Lord – The Day of the Lord is at hand!

LionKing

———————————————————-

Are you ready for the holy invasion? How exciting! The Day of the Lord is a fearful thing if you are not ready – both for “believers” and those that don’t believe. It’s time to seek the Lord and pay attention to what your heart is telling you.

I’m think I’m ready. Are you?

How I Met God ♥

Cross

Today is a very special day to me. On October 8, 1980, I started my relationship with God.

I had heard of God and his Son, Jesus. But I didn’t really know much about them personally. I had heard some stories from the Bible and I had even memorized a few Scriptures. I attended a private Christian school and memorizing Bible verses was sometimes required for homework. I did it because it was homework, not because I had any interest in religion.

My family was not religious. We attended my grandmother’s small country church once or twice a year as part of a family tradition – usually just for Christmas and Easter. Most of my classmates at school were from religious homes where they attended church every week and went to Bible camp during the summers. But not me. I was different.

October 8 was a normal Wednesday. I got ready for school as usual. I made it to home room on time and went to my first two classes. Then we went to chapel, a weekly “class” that everyone attended. Our entire junior and senior high went to the same service – about 150 kids. The younger children in elementary school had a separate service, geared to their age group. I had attended this school since first grade and had been to many, many chapel services.

Chapel type service

I sat in chapel that day with all the other 8th grade girls. Boys had “cooties” so we didn’t sit with them. I recall that we were seated near the back of the chapel, far from the front where the action was.

We sang some songs, among them “Onward Christian Soldiers”. A guest minister got up to speak. I don’t recall a word he said. Toward the end of the service, he started the altar call. That’s when a minister asks the listeners to respond to his message. I don’t know what he said, but it was effective. The last girl on our row began to cry. Her two best girlfriends were sitting next to her and they tried to comfort her. She got up and went to the front to pray with the minister, to respond to his invitation. Her friends went with her along with the girl sitting closest to them. There were only 3 of us left sitting on the pew. I turned to the girl next to me, we shrugged our shoulders and decided to follow the others. It seemed like “the right thing to do”.

By the time we got to the front of the chapel, we saw that the place for prayer (the altar) was really crowded – many other kids had also responded to the minister’s call. One of the girls saw an empty space behind the pulpit on the left side, so we all walked up the stairs to the platform and gathered in a circle on the dark red carpeted floor. I was hoping we weren’t going to get in trouble as normally no one was allowed up there but the adults.

I joined my friends, not really sure what to do. I was there for moral support. I had never been to an altar before – what was expected?

Soon the minister came to us and said, “Girls, would you like to give your lives to God?” Several of the “church girls” immediately nodded. They had all been to a youth retreat a few weeks prior where they all got “saved” again. It seemed that perhaps they had backslidden and needed to “fix” things with God. I didn’t really know what the man was asking, but I didn’t want to stand out  – so I didn’t ask any questions. I remember that I glanced at the ceiling and thought, “Do I believe in God?” My heart answered, “Yes.” So I decided that meant I could pray with the minister.

He led us all in a prayer where we repeated some statements after him, as though we were talking to God. I had never prayed before – well, except that in elementary school we all recited a prayer before we went to the lunchroom each day. But that was different.

I don’t remember a word of what I said. I didn’t feel anything. No bright lights or a voice from heaven. I just “prayed the prayer” because someone asked me – and I didn’t want to be the only one who didn’t do it. When I looked around the room after the prayer, I noticed that the entire student body was on their knees praying – except for 2 boys in the senior class. They were surrounded by a few teachers who were talking to them – the boys kept shaking their heads “No”. I was amazed that they refused to open their hearts to God that day as everyone else in the place definitely was. I remember seeing even the “tough” boys in our class lined up at a nearby pew, on their knees, praying with the minister. That’s how real God was in that place.

Later that night, I spoke to God on my own. I had heard a few weeks earlier that you should talk to God every day. I remember thinking, “Then He should talk back to me then.” I was kind of cynical, even at that age.

Me, 1980-81

The next day, as I was walking into the girl’s locker room, I said a swear word. Immediately, I heard a voice in my heart say, “You’re a Christian now. Christians don’t talk like that.”

I stopped walking. I knew that wasn’t my voice talking to me because I would not have thought of that. I remembered being told that after you decide to give your life to God and ask Jesus into your heart – He actually sends His Spirit to live inside of you. Hearing this voice and feeling the conviction that went with it, I realized, “This must be the Holy Spirit. I better obey.” And from that day on, I stopped swearing.

It’s funny how, when looking back, I see how “non-eventful” this experience appeared to be at the time. It was a normal Wednesday morning. I was in chapel, as I had been hundreds of times before. Yet on this day, something changed. Someone asked me to open my heart and life to God’s love. And I did. Not because I understood it. Peer pressure “saved” me. I didn’t want to be left out.

Since that time, I can honestly say that it was the BEST DECISION I have ever made in my entire life. From that first day, I started talking to God every night before bed and I have never stopped. He is the air I breathe. He is my hope, my peace, my joy and my strength. My life is SO MUCH BETTER because I decided to open my heart to Him.

Thank You, Jesus, for saving me as a young girl when I didn’t even know what I was doing. Thank You for being there through everything – my parent’s divorce, my boyfriends and my break-ups, my high school and college years, my first marriage and divorce, my time away from home and my time returning to my roots … and all the other times when I needed a friend, a confidante, a savior to get me out of myself and learn how to love others, really love others.

I love what You’ve done with my life. It is so exciting to see where we are going next. I never know what You have up Your sleeve – like the wonderful surprise of my new husband and what a pleasure it is to be married to him. I never saw that coming! And the life You’ve given me, allowing me to help others by sharing the pain and challenges I’ve overcome.

I am so incredibly thankful today. Thank you, dear readers, for celebrating this day with me.

Listen heart2

I hope that if you are reading this and you have not yet opened your heart to God, that perhaps you will. Would you like to? It’s not hard. It’s just a choice – to choose to follow Jesus and learn how to love others, to respond to God’s love for you as His child. And guess what? He DOES talk back when you talk to Him! 🙂

If you’d like to do that, you can pray this prayer or something similar. You can use your own words, if you prefer.

“God, I am willing – I open my heart to Your Love. I give You my life. Jesus, please come and save me. I need Your help. I’m sorry for the things I’ve done wrong. Please teach me how to receive Your love so I can love others. Thank you.”

If you’ve never prayed that kind of prayer, please do. It will open up a world of goodness you cannot even imagine. There is so much peace and joy and love just waiting to come to you, if you open yourself up to it. Words fail me how much better my life is because of God’s love. It does not prevent bad things from happening to you – instead it gives you an inner resilience and a peace that passes understanding.

If you prayed this for the first time just now – then please let me know. Either post something below or send me an email: kingdomwalker2 (at) gmail (dot) com. I would love to celebrate with YOU and help you in your new relationship with God just as others helped me when I first started out.

God bless you today! ♥

The chapel today

Book Review: The Path by Rick Joyner – Worth reading!

Amazon book cover image

The Path: Fire on the Mountain, Book One by Rick Joyner

Amazon link

Wow! I LOVED this book. It was so incredibly refreshing to me. So many books I read are just the same stuff, in a slightly different format or from a different author’s perspective.

THIS IS FRESH!

When I was in college, I used to take notes if a book was good. I haven’t done that in many, many years. I took 12 pages of notes on this little book of 200 pages. That should tell you something.

Normally, I like to highlight in a book when something “speaks” to me. This was different. I wanted to write down the statements or concepts that really jumped out at me. I wanted to be able to meditate on them later and share them with others. That’s why I ended up with 12 pages of notes. Then I typed them into my computer for safekeeping because who keeps handwritten notes anymore? And how will I find them when I am looking for them next year? 🙂

Anyway, I’ll give you a synopsis of the book and then some special highlights that I liked. The story is written like an allegory or a parable. There’s no introduction explaining whether this is fiction or whether Rick Joyner experienced this story as a vision. In the Final Quest series (which this book mimics), he said in the intro that those books came as a series of visions he received from the Lord. But this book is silent as to the source. Was it a vision or did Rick write it in story form to illustrate the truths he wanted to convey? No idea. But either way, it’s pretty well written as a story.

It starts with the main character trudging through a dreary wilderness thinking that every step will be his last. He comes across of pool of living water. He drinks some water and suddenly his senses are sharp and clear, he feels rejuvenated and “alive” like he hasn’t felt in years. A man comes and speaks to him. His dialog with this man continues throughout the book and he later refers to him as Elijah, as in the prophet Elijah from the Old Testament of the Bible. Later he also meets someone referred to as Enoch, as in “Enoch walked with God and he was not, for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24, The Bible).

Elijah tells him to follow him. They walk for a while and arrive on a beach with a large cruise ship in the water nearby. There are a group of people who ask the main character to lead them through the wilderness. He agrees and off they go. The rest of the book is the story of their journey through the wilderness & their interaction with Elijah and Enoch.

The story line is meant to convey not only their journey, but the spiritual truths they need to “stay on the right path” in following the Lord. The story focuses mostly on their conversations along the way. There are a few areas of tension in the story – they run into lions a few times and then later there is possible division brewing in the group and they have to resolve that. Other than that, it’s mainly a lot of dialog meant to convey spiritual truths.

What I loved about it was that many of the truths presented are not your typical “Sunday school curriculum”. They are MUCH DEEPER than that. They are things I have discovered in my own walk with God, but have rarely if ever heard anyone talk about. I appreciated that Rick was willing to go out on a limb and deal with some tough issues that most people in the Christian faith ignore or deny. He did it in a respectful manner, but he was direct and firm. I like that. I am hoping that since Rick is well-known in the Christian world his book will be read by many. Perhaps it will inspire others to take the trek into the wilderness of true intimacy with Christ.

Here are some quotes or concepts from the book that impacted me – I hope something here will inspire you as well.

In general, leaders have given themselves to building organizations more than building PEOPLE. Great saints are becoming rare. (p. 9)

Your guidance must come from your heart, your spirit. You must see with the eyes of your heart more clearly than you see with your natural eyes or you will not stay on the right path. (p. 13)

You must drink from the living water as soon as you begin to thirst. Even drink when you are not thirsty. Staying close to it will keep you alive and on the path. When you are on the right path, it will always be close to you, so find it, drink it often and never go far from it. This is the MOST BASIC LESSON!     (p. 8 & 13)

People are being led to the things of the Lord, but not to the Lord Himself. Many are lukewarm because they have so many distractions. Others are lukewarm because they are worn out from all the hype. Those who repent will be given the grace to change. (p. 19)

It is not just love or just power, but it is the power of love you must have. (p. 25)

To get the full benefit of the wilderness, you need to experience it with others. The purpose of the wilderness is to forge “koinonia”, a bonding together into a single unit that is inseparable, like a human body is inseparable. We will perish in the wilderness without it. It is forged by experience in the wilderness together. It is formed through love for Jesus that causes us to treat each other as we would treat Him (with respect). We must have koinonia for the life of Christ to flow through His body (like blood flowing through a human body). We need each other. I (the leader) may need you more than you need me. Those who have never tasted of this fellowship cannot understand it. To experience His glory and presence together is the greatest bond of all. (p. 52-55, 61, 69)

On this path, we earn to live in two worlds – spiritual and natural. The two worlds were meant to be connected by man. To live in both worlds is the natural state of man. Man is both spirit and flesh. The more you can do this, the more you will become who you were created to be. (p. 66)

We must not allow fear to control us, guide us or influence our decisions. Every day that we stay on course, resisting fear, we will become stronger in the Lord. There are many paths and almost all are very inviting. There is no formula – we follow a Person, not a formula. The right path seems to look harder and may be harder for a time. It is NOT the most inviting. We must have faith to see it, follow the Lord and not our own reasoning. The wrong path looks easier, tempts you to escape your difficulties. It leads to entanglements that few ever get free of. (p. 67-68)

If you see the Lion who lives in you, you will not be afraid of anything else. (p. 79)

The life of a disciple is to be taught by the Master (Jesus).  The Lord has a special delight in teaching His people. God does not hide things from us, He hides them FOR us. I learned to hear the Word Himself through whomever He chose to speak or by whatever means. (p. 85-86)

Self-focus and self-centeredness are the nature of the immature. It is hard to find those who care about the deeper things of the Lord. Of those who DO care, few are able to resist worldly distractions to actually pursue a deeper relationship with the Lord – to be taught by Him. (p. 92)

For a truth to become life, it must be applied to our life. As you live what you learn, your words will have the power of life. You will not just teach the truth, but you will impart a love for the truth when it is your life. (p. 93, 102)

There is a lot of teaching today that keeps people self-centered rather than Christ-centered. This keeps them in immaturity. You must come to know the Teacher’s voice, regardless of how He speaks or who He speaks through. You must also learn to obey Him. To obey Him almost always requires risk and disregard for self-interest. When you seek the interests of Christ, then your own selfish interests will begin to seem as small and petty as they really are. (p. 94)

Seal these three things in your heart – to know His voice, to do His will and to abide in Him. These will keep you and they will lead you to the kingdom. (p. 97)

The result of experiencing the manifest presence of God is an insatiable desire for more of Him and a special fellowship (koinonia) with all who experience it. (p. 107)

Many people gave their lives to Christ but were then taught to follow people, movements or certain doctrines and were never led to Him. This leads to disappointment and a shallow, frustrating  life – not the abundant life He promises. (p. 120)

We must get so close to Him that we are following HIM, not just principles. We often miss Him because we are looking for Him as we expect Him to be, rather than as He is. (p. 123, 147)

We cannot think of ourselves as better than others, but as servants of those who may not have had our experiences. Do not become proud of the grace you have been given! (p. 149)

The main purpose of the true church is to BE the temple – so we should look for the presence of the Lord. The way we find the true church is not by looking for a church, but by looking for the Lord. It is one thing to be in a place with good teaching, worship and ministry. It is something else when He is the true focus of attention. (p. 152)

Nothing else on earth can ever satisfy you like being in the manifest presence of the Lord. Because we were created to have fellowship with God, this is the deepest yearning of the human heart and nothing else can ever compare to it. (p. 160)

Thank you, Rick Joyner, for writing this book. It was like water in the desert to this thirsty soul. I am so eager for more people to “get” this – to realize that it’s all about HIM! Our focus is not supposed to be on church attendance, programs, good sermons, etc. There is no formula or principles – it’s about following a Person: JESUS. I wish, oh how I wish, more churches would focus on the manifest presence of the Lord because that is what we need more than anything. Why don’t more leaders realize that? Why is there such a drought of the manifest presence of God in our meetings and why doesn’t anyone say anything? It’s like the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes – everyone was afraid to tell the Emperor that he was naked. It’s time for something to change. I hope this new book can start a movement of believers who are not willing to settle for the same old thing in church anymore. We need HIM and only HIM.

Here’s the link to Amazon – you can preview some of the chapters before purchasing the book, if you like.

If you’re interested in the Final Quest series, here is a link to the Final Quest, Book One – free PDF online. Sometimes authors release the first book for free so that you (the reader) can decide whether the series is for you. This one is definitely worth reading. 🙂

You can also purchase the entire Final Quest series on Amazon – Amazon link

The Holy She

Holy She3

Have you ever contemplated the feminine side of God? I have often heard of the “Father heart of God”. There are many Bible verses that refer to God being a Father, especially the words of Jesus in the book of John. But not many direct references to God’s Mother heart. I’ve never heard anyone teach on this, have you?

But it is obviously part of God’s nature.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:26-27 NKJV

We see the image of God reflected in both genders – male and female. So who is the Mother heart of God? What is the “Holy She” like?

There’s a lot of discussion on the “Divine Mother”. Some refer to Her by different names. I see Her most closely reflected in the description of the Holy Spirit. It was She who inspired Jesus to say,

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” Matt 23:37 NKJV

A hen is a female chicken and gathering chicks is definitely a motherly thing to do.

In the Old Testament scriptures, the word for the Holy Spirit is Ruach. 90% of the times this word is used in scripture, it is used in the feminine form. Did the Old Testament writers have an intuitive sense of God’s Mother nature that we have somehow lost in modern times?

The most common symbol for the Holy Spirit is a dove. A dove is a feminine symbol. (I don’t know too many men who would choose the dove as the symbol of their masculinity!) A dove is gentle. King Solomon refered to his beloved in the Song of Solomon as a dove (SS 2:4). The Holy Spirit was seen descending on Jesus as a dove (Matt 3:16).

Dove

The Holy Spirit is described as a helper, a teacher, someone who guides us into all truth and one who comforts us. Those are all descriptions of the typical job of a mother with her young. She also teaches them right from wrong – as the Holy Spirit does when convicting the world of sin, righteousness and judgement (John 14 & 16).

I recently had an encounter with this Holy She. It blew my mind. I had never really thought about the Mother Heart of God. But SHE wanted me to know Her. And I am so glad She came to me and showed me Her heart for me.

It was very deep and very personal. It healed my heart in places I’d never been able to discover before. I knew something was missing. I knew my heart felt heavy. But I had no idea what was missing. I didn’t know I needed a revelation of the Mother Heart of God.

There were areas in my heart and soul where I had not received the gentleness and kindness that only a mother can give to a child. I did not realize how much this had affected my perspective of life. I was radically changed, permanently changed, after this encounter with Her. It was simply amazing. I don’t even know how to describe what it was like other than to say I encountered my Heavenly Mother and She loves me! ♥ She welcomed me to the family. 🙂

So I’m posting this in hopes that if anyone else has this experience and doesn’t know how to fit it into their spiritual understanding, perhaps my testimony will light their way. It is NOT sacrilegious to recognize God’s feminine side (though I’m sure there are male ministers who would be offended or befuddled by referring to God as She).

God is recognized as the Giver of Life. On the earth, that is the job of women – they are the ones who bring forth new life from their wombs.

The name God gave to Abraham when He first revealed Himself and told Abraham he would become a great nation is the name El Shaddai. There are various discussion as to the meaning of this name. One is this:
El – might, strength, power; it was the common term for “God” in that culture
Shad – breast, nourisher, sustainer
dai – enough, sufficient, supply

So it could be that when God revealed Him/Herself to Abraham, He/She said, “You will become a great nation (i.e. you will have a lot of children & grandchildren) and I will be the Powerful Breasted-One who will supply all your needs.” Kind of makes sense – the feminine side of God proclaiming a promise of many children and grandchildren and presenting the image of a breast that will nourish and sustain the children who are coming.

What do you think? Have you experienced this Holy She? I think many people long for a sympathetic Mother who will comfort them. Someone who will heal their hearts with Her Love and guide them in the way they should go. I know I certainly need that. Don’t you?

 

Grandma w child

Living in the Manifest Presence of God

Rating: Inspirational

Abraham said, “The Lord, in Whose presence I walk …” [Genesis 24:40]
“There’s a difference between living in the Omnipresence of God and living in the Manifest Presence of God.” – Alyn Jones, Grace Center, Franklin, TN

We all live in the Omnipresence of God – God is everywhere. We can acknowledge that and live in that knowledge.

But there is a place of living in the Manifest Presence of God – where you KNOW HE IS THERE, right there where you are. You are tangibly aware of His presence. It’s amazing – it’s life-giving, it’s comforting, it’s fullness of joy.

You can know this place – you can walk with God like this. It’s not impossible. Truly.

Walk with Him and obey Him. What is He telling YOU to do? Do that. Just that and nothing else. Don’t try to EARN your way into His Manifest Presence. Just obey with all your heart the last thing He told you to do. Be faithful.

Cultivate an awareness of His Presence. I’ve spent my life chasing after Him and I am happy to report that I now live in His Manifest Presence. Every day. Every morning I wake up aware of His Presence. If I wake up feeling foggy, then I speak to Him until my mind clears and I am again aware of His presence. I don’t leave my bed until I do.

Just do it – you won’t regret it. Make yourself aware of His Presence. Talk to Him as though He is really RIGHT THERE with you. Because He is. You just don’t realize it. 🙂

“Our believing produces our receiving.” – Alyn Jones

Can you imagine what it would look like to live in God’s Manifest Presence 24/7? Imagine the peace of knowing all your steps are ordered – never feeling rushed or worried. Being sure that all that you need will be provided when you need it – just like the sparrows.

Can you believe and can you trust enough to actually receive this in your heart?

That is the question.

IMMERSED LLee
“Immersed” by Linda Lee

What is Respondability?

Rating: Inspirational

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!

Attracting the Holy Spirit

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?
and
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. ♥

Divine Communion

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.”

Take me_chibiey

“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.”

heavens embrace

“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.”

candle & girl

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?

Book Review: The Veil by Blake Healy – A Look Behind the Scenes of the Unseen Realm

The_Veil_Healy
Amazon link
I recently finished reading The Veil by Blake K Healy. Blake is a good guy. He teaches at the Bethel Atlanta School of Supernatural Ministry. I’ve seen a lot of flaky stuff on the subject of the unseen realm – his book is not like that at all. It’s very real, very believable and very down to earth. I enjoyed reading it. He says he has been able to see clearly the unseen realm since he was a child. He never thought he was different – he thought everyone could see what he saw. Until he reached a certain age where it became obvious to him that he was “different”. I liked his book because he didn’t make me feel excluded because I don’t “see” like he sees. Many people who have special giftings tend to give you that impression. He didn’t put himself on a pedestal at all. In fact, instead he tries to make “seeing” or “perceiving” the unseen realm something anyone can do. He even includes “exercises” in the back of the book to help you get started. Very cool! 🙂

I used the exercise with a friend this weekend and lo and behold, she saw an angel! In my living room, no less. That was cool. But more on that later ….

Here’s some highlights from his book:
Demons have no authority over you unless you give it to them. A demonic entity has no right to act in your life without expressed agreement from you. (p. 37) Lies are the only power that demons have, and lies are only powerful if you believe them. … there is freedom in revealing deception to be deception. (p. 41) … the interesting thing about demonic influence [is] it feels so real when you’re in the middle of it, but the moment you see it clearly it’s no more threatening than a paper-mache bunny. (p.48)

I really like that – Lies are only powerful if you believe them. Wow – so if the only power that demons have is the power we give them by believing their lies, then it should be fairly simple to keep them from influencing us, right? In my life, I have found it very hard to discern the lies I believe – ’cause they don’t LOOK like lies. If I believe them, then I believe they are true, right? If I KNEW it was a lie, then I wouldn’t believe it. It’s kinda complicated, isn’t it?

I’m very glad I discovered this little heart “exercise” called the Lie Detector. That’s in a book called Freedom through Forgiveness by Sandy Walker. It’s on the Resources tab above. I’ll post about that book at another time. Anyway, that little exercise has been majorly helping me find the lies I believe and uprooting them. And as a result, I feel a LOT freer. I had no idea I believed so many lies!

Back to Blake’s book – he says he’s never met anyone who didn’t have a personal angel. That’s kind of cool, isn’t it? 🙂 He says about 30% of the personal angels look like the person they are with. Kind of explains why people told Rhoda it was “Peter’s angel” at the door when Peter was supernaturally released from prison by an angel (Acts 12) – maybe they had seen these look-alike angels before.

I like Blake’s stories – he very simply describes what he sees: in a coffeeshop, in a church service, at a party. It’s very cool. I also really appreciate that he emphasizes that “it’s not about the gift”. It’s about asking the Holy Spirit to teach you and show you what is all around you. Reading his stories gave me a little nudge to start paying attention more. His descriptions stretched my imagination. For instance, here’s one I thought was cool:
Sometimes people would come with cuts and bruises on their faces [in the unseen realm]. As each word was prophesied over them [in prayer ministry], liquid light would form in the air, repairing the cuts and clearing the bruises. (p. 66) [brackets added for clarity]

So, back to my friend seeing the angel in my living room. Blake says that if you want to become more aware of the unseen realm, then pay more attention to it. I knew my friend wanted to become more aware of this realm. We were sitting in my living room with some friends. I told her, “Close your eyes, ask the Holy Spirit where to look. Then open your eyes and ask Him to show you something.” (this is a very brief summary of Blake’s exercise). She did. She opened her eyes and pointed to an area near my bookshelves. She said, “There’s an angel there.” We both smiled.

Then I focused on the area and “saw” a rather large figure. Taller than the people who were there. Then I remembered the last part of Blake’s instruction – ask the Holy Spirit to explain to you what you are seeing. So I did. I got the impression that the angel was there for protection. He was certainly BIG enough. 🙂

Blake says there’s an impartation on his book – in other words, it stirs up your faith to open your heart and believe that you too can see/perceive the unseen realm. I think he’s right. It certainly stirred me up. So if this is an area you’d like to grow in, give his book a look.

Here’s the link to Amazon – you can preview some of the chapters before purchasing it.

Let me know if you decide to read it and what you thought. Or if you have another cool book you’d like to recommend, please let me know in the comments below. Thanks! 🙂

Update Feb 2014:  Blake now offers a recording of the his “Seeing in the Spirit – Workshop”:  In this workshop Blake shares his testimony and his heart regarding the gift of seeing in the spirit, along with several stories that illustrate the overwhelming love of our God. Over two hours of questions, answers, and keys to growing in the gift of seeing are included in this extended digital version. 4 hours total – mp3 format. Click here to for more info