Holy Love, Fire & Water

Yesterday morning, I began my devotional at the house of prayer with the chorus of a song called “Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher, and the Lord took me on an incredible journey of His heart.

“I need You, Lord, I need You. Every hour, I need You. My one defense, my righteousness. Oh God, how I need You.”

I could then, and even still now, feel this cry rising up from the inside of me. My deep calling out to His deep. Wanting to be hungry, desperate…willing to be captured by the beauty of His holiness. I wanted to be found waiting there for Him, wanting more of His holiness in me, wanting more of Him.

In my last blog, I wrote about the rivers of living water that flow from the chests (John 7:38) of those who believe, and how it is an endless source of truth and freedom. Yesterday, I started to sing about those rivers, I remembered something the Lord showed me a few years ago. I saw Jesus sitting on the throne, and when He began to speak, water flowed as a river from His mouth. His voice of many waters (Rev. 1:15) surrounded and lifted me up. As I remembered this, I saw myself sitting under the His shade, waiting beside the river. The shade I was under was that of a tree of healing (Rev. 22:2). I just wanted to see Him and hear His voice. Then I was singing about being in that river, floating in the current of His voice, of His strength, and it took me back to Psalm 42. It was as if I could feel His waves and billows crashing over me, filling my deep, carrying me. This chorus came out, “I want to see You, I want to hear You, I want to know You and be found in You, Jesus…I see the fire in Your eyes, Your hair white as wool, I hear Your voice of many waters…” Then He revealed something that is amazing…

“You are Love. You are Holy. When I open wide to receive Your love, You’re making me holy. LOVE MAKES ME HOLY. This is what it looks like when Love speaks. Love breathes fire. Love’s voice pours living water. My earth (my soul) is in need of fire and water. Fire purifies earth, killing the weeds and everything, creating new and fertile dirt. Then water is poured, bringing new life. Love breathes fire. Love speaks water. Love is making me holy. Love is making me new.”

Our God is an all-consuming fire. Our God is the source of living water. Our God is love. He is completely other than, set apart, holy. And it is His holy love, fire, and water that transforms us into the image of His Son. “Holiness is Christ in me” (lyrics from Matt Maher’s song). When God looks at me, that holiness is all He sees. And so I sang, “I will set my gaze on You, and receive Your love…” Love covers me and you and everything in between.

I ended my devotional time with the song “The More I Seek You” by Zach Neese, but Jesus changed some of the lyrics and sang it back to me. He sings it over you too.

“Come and sit at My feet. Drink from the cup in My hand. Lay back against Me and breathe. You can feel My heartbeat. My love for you is deep. There is no need for you to stand. Come and melt in My peace…”

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Don’t Lose Heart…

I have to be real here. Though I know God is doing something deep and great in me, it hasn’t expressed itself in instant change my life. My heart is to be found holy and faithful, and yet I’m still “fleshing out” and continuing to run to my vices that, of course, only bring temporary fleeting relief. I have noticed a difference in my reaction though. Instead of condemning myself and wallowing in my failure, I have felt the Lord’s strength rise in me causing me to stand back up, wipe the dirt off of my knees, and keep moving forward.

I feel like this is the crux of what God wants to do in all of us. If His word is true in that God  is love, and He is faithful to forgive a sincere heart, then truly NOTHING is impossible for us with Him! I look at my son, Joshua, and I think to myself, “There is nothing he could ever do that would make me love him less nor not accept him. He’s my son, and I love him.” I know this is only a small taste of the Father’s affection toward us. If we could really grasp this, believe and walk in it, the face of this planet would look very different.

I wanted to share something the Lord showed me the other day:

“Those who believe shall have fountains of living water flowing from their chests. You are the fountain that never runs dry. The Word became flesh that washes us every day. Living water flows over and through us. A never ending supply of truth that transforms. All of my fountains are in You. Clean and free. It is Your voice of many waters. I float in these waters, letting Your voice and Your strength carry me to where I need to be. Moving and resting all at once.”

Then this past Sunday morning, during worship, I could here Jesus calling the Bride. He was saying, “Let the new song arise, lift up your sword!” I saw the connection immediately. THE WORD. His Word washes over us, it becomes an endless spring within us through the Holy Spirit, it directs us through the Bible and His voice, and redesigns our inward parts…. Then…. a new song arises from our hearts. A song that is the Word. And just as the King of Glory girds a sword upon His thigh, as do we. The sword that is the Word of God. All of this speaks of identity, victory, intimacy, and trust in Jesus, our Savior.

All of this to say, I am broken and continue to mess up every day. I fall incredibly short of being found holy and faithful, by my definition. His definition says that I am already holy, blameless, and faithful in His sight. And again…if His Word is true and He is love…

“My joy, I give to you. My peace, I leave with you. Don’t lose heart…I have overcome the world. Greater am I. I have made a way for you. Abide now in My love. Think on things above. Don’t lose heart…I have overcome the world. Greater am I. You will be with Me in My glory. For I…I am with you…” (A song Jesus sings to all of us.)

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Come To Me

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29) (Jesus)

On Wednesday mornings in the prayer, we spend time meditating and praying over a specific scripture. Every week is different, and every week, the Lord has something new and beautiful to reveal. Today, we focused on Matthew 11:29. I have read this scripture before many times, but the life altering revelation of what Jesus was truly saying didn’t hit me until many months ago.

In the scriptures leading up to this one, Jesus is speaking to the people who had gathered. After calling the cities and the people to humility and repentance, He thanks the Father, the Lord of heaven, for hiding the revelations and treasures of heaven from those who think themselves to be wise and prudent in and of themselves and has chosen to reveal them to babes. The babes are the little ones. These are the ones who become as children, humbled and completely dependent on Him. Childlikeness equals humility; letting go and leaning on Him.

He moves on to say that all things are delivered to Him by His Father, and He, the Son, chooses to whom He will reveal those things. He then releases the invitation, “Come to Me…” Come hither, come toward Me, follow after Me, learn of Me, and I will give you rest. Rest within our hearts, minds, and souls flows from coming to Him and becoming like Him which requires the laying down of our rights, our wisdom, our wills, and ultimately our lives.

In thinking upon and studying Matthew 11:19, I looked up a few of the words in the Greek to gain a better understanding and clearer meaning of what Jesus was saying. I won’t go into all the details and definitions, but I rewrote the scripture, adding those things and some words I felt the Holy Spirit speaking…

“Come to Me. Look at Me. Take this yoke that has already been raised, lifted above you, come under with Me and bear it upon you, that you might learn and experience Me, receive deeper revelation of who I am. For I am kind, moderate in action and humble, completely dependent on My Father which defines the very center of My being as His son. As you learn, you will cease from your labor, from your striving of making your own way, and you will find true rest, true grace that is sufficient for you. You will find My strength taking you over, where all of your doing comes simply from BEING. I will always freely extend to give Myself away to you for I am always leaning toward you. Lean into Me.”

The Father reveals the hidden things and pours out His strength to those who run to Him with open arms as a child, as His son who He loves. If we have truly seen Jesus, we have seen the Father. If we let go, and learn from Him, the One who He Himself IS completely dependent on the Father (defining His very being), then we will walk in the same gentleness and humbleness, no longer striving in our own strength, but find rest in our souls. We find our hearts undivided in fearing and trusting Him, defined by His love for us. We will learn “to be” from the One who “is”. He IS the Son, therefore, we learn TO BE sons. THIS IS THE TRUE DEFINITION OF REST.

In a previous blog, I said that in this, all I can do is continue to lift up my open hands, lift up the “YES” in my heart that He would come and have His way in me. Like a child, running to my Father, hands in the air, knowing He will grab hold of me and lift me up! And He will redesign my inward parts with His Word.

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt (lift you up) you in due time, casting all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:5b-7)

Childlikeness = humility = state of being = moving in His strength and confidence = nothing is impossible = rest for the soul. This is an open standing invitation from the Father, to see and hear Him, and then go do and speak out of the place of true sonship; the place of love where all fear is cast out.

If you’ve never heard the song “Fountains” by Jon Thurlow…you should!

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The Glory Inside

“And the glory which You gave Me, I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (Jesus) (John 17:22-23)

This past Friday night, I was scheduled to lead worship. That morning, during our worship intercession set for Israel, the Lord was speaking about breaking down walls, pulling down everything that exalts itself against Him. It weighed heavy on my heart all into the evening service. I felt like God wanted to bring down walls in our hearts, and release healing. Healing of deep wounds as well as pain that can and often comes with the crashing down of walls. We started worship with setting our eyes on Jesus, captured by His awesome beauty.  It’s amazing how everything seems to change when you enter into the throne room…

“Here I stand before the very throne, very throne of God. I’m captivated by the Holy One. I gaze upon You as You’re shining bright, shining like the sun. Who is like You? There is no one.” (A song I heard at IHOPKC.)

As we were singing, the Lord showed me something remarkable. In the Spirit, I saw a huge, thick, concrete wall that formed a complete circle. Inside the wall was a big ball of light. I immediately know that it was the light of glory, His glory, shining inside each one of us. The ball of glory started to pulsate, and from within it, came a shout! The force of the sound and the light burst and the walls exploded out! That shout was victory. That shout was identity. That shout was the glory wanting out!

“There is a shout! There is a shout! Let the glory out! Let the glory out! Did you know that all creation is groaning for the revealing of the sons of God? Of the sons of God? I am a son of God! I am a child of God!” (A chorus we sang on Friday night.)

It struck me because whenever I think about walls coming down, I tend to think of an outside force punching the walls in. This force, the glory, was already within and punched these walls out! It led me to John 17. The glory that the Father had given to Jesus has been given to us. The Father in Jesus and Jesus in us…abiding in the vine.

I realize I’m not saying anything new, but I began to dig a little deeper by looking at that word “glory” in the Greek. The word doxa means honor, renown, glory, an especially divine quality, unspoken manifestation of God, splendor, heavy weight of glory, God’s infinite intrinsic worth, what evokes good opinion, approval, brightness, and majesties. What stood out to me was the unspoken manifestation of God and His infinite intrinsic worth…given to us! Which led me to another scripture…

“To them (His saints), God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)

The same Greek word for glory is used there. Hope, in the Greek is elpis, which means hope, expectation, trust, confidence, to anticipate, welcome, and expectation of what is sure. Hebrews 11 says that faith is the evidence of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. It’s all connected. Our Father in heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ have given to us not just glory, but the HOPE OF GLORY. He lives inside of us, has declared us His own, and has given us all power and authority through our sonship to stand on His word. There is glory inside of us, wanting to burst out! Glory that is the substance, the essence of who He is. Glory that overflows when we abide in Him and He in us.

In my last blog, I wrote that what we believe about God, true and untrue, affects EVERYTHING we say and do. It affects who we believe we are. It affects how we see each other. It affects how well we walk in boldness, faith, hope, joy, and love. I want this revelation to change my heart. I want to see how He sees and anchor myself to this hope.

“Every word You say is true. I can do nothing apart from You. Where else could I go? Why would I try? You have the words, the light of life. You’ve given this to me. A wonderful, beautiful mystery. Jesus inside of me, the hope of glory. You are my hope, the strength of my life. You are my hope, the glory inside. There is peace that guards my heart when I meditate on things above. There is peace that guards my heart when I abide in Your perfect love. I have come to seek Your face, come before the throne of grace. I stand in expectation of what is sure. You are filling me with glory and making me pure. You are radiating glory, permeating all of me. Pure…blameless…transformed…blameless…” (Some of the things I was singing today during my devotional at the house of prayer.)

Strength of My Heart

“Whom have I in heaven, but You? And there is none upon the earth I desire more than You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever – But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works.” (Psalm 73:25-26,28)

For some time now, I have felt that I should start a blog. Years ago, when MySpace was the “thing”, I would post blogs every other day about what God was doing in my heart and the world around me. I have written a few notes on my Facebook page here and there, but I’m hoping to be more consistent with this. There is much the Lord wants to say, and I want to be a vessel He can use.

With that said, I felt like I should share about the last year and a half of my life. You could say that, spiritually speaking, I have been in a deep pit. I was beginning to believe that I may not see the light of day again. God has never left my side, and through this time, I have still heard Him singing songs of deliverance over me, yet my heart was not responding as I had wanted it to. Old habits and sins that I had once claimed victory over were creeping their way back into my life, and my time in the secret place had become a memory I so desperately wanted resurrect. I found myself seemingly drowning in my weakness. However, the Lord never relented on holding me, speaking His love and identity into me, forgiving me, and teaching me what it means for His strength to be made perfect in my weakness. This last year and a half has been all about true grace, hope, faith, humility, and learning to rest in the truth that I AM A CHILD OF GOD.

A few weeks ago, I was in a place of anger, sadness, feeling lost. I kept asking God, “If my heart is truly transformed, how do I hold onto it? How do I hold onto victory when it feels like grace has left me? What else should I do?” I felt like there HAD to be SOMETHING I could do. Something more than I have been; feeling like I was bursting at the seams, and not sure why I was feeling this way or what I should do. I talked to my husband about it and decided I need to take a few days and go to the prayer room in Kansas City. My intentions were to meet with Jesus, to hear His voice, and receive some clarity and direction. What I came home with was so much more… This is what He said:

“LOOK AT ME! Who are you? Who do I say you are?! Declaring ‘I am a child of God’ defeats every lie, every snare, every temptation, and moves every mountain! The shout that crushed the walls of Jericho was a shout permeated in who I AM and who Joshua and his people knew they were…My chosen, My beloved. You are My beloved! I will cause you to stand on My Word and My Word alone. Let yourself fall. I will catch you and redeem the time. You are not lost! You are my vessel that I have chosen. A vessel for My glory! Do not focus on ‘what if’! Do not think about future mistakes or fear of letting Me down. I have called you by name. I chose YOU. And I say, you are a vessel for My glory!”

I realized He gave the answer to the cry of my heart. The answer is the steadfast declaration of I AM A CHILD OF GOD! The very answer that Jesus spoke to Satan in the wilderness when He was fasting. I live on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God! It is the voice of my Father who defines me and is my victory. It doesn’t mean I will never mess up or sin again. It means I have Jesus, the hope of glory, living inside of me with resurrection power and life, surging through my veins. I am finally beginning to get passed myself and LOOK AT HIM. His blood made a way for me and covers me. How could I possibly allow the enemy to convince me otherwise?

I saw myself running. Running the race. I stumbled and I fell. I fell on the Rock, broken into pieces. Torn by He who loves me. All so that He could lift me up, heal me, that might run again, only this time, in His strength alone. In this journey, I have discovered that humility and childlike faith are one in the same, and I have yet so much to learn, so much to see. But this time, instead of trying to figure out how to “maintain” and make a list of what I should and shouldn’t do, I am simply lifting up the “YES” in my heart to the Lord and letting Him redesign my inward parts with His word. For me, it is a new day.

“If you abide in Me, you will know the truth. The truth shall set you free, if you believe. I AM the light of the world. You will not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. I AM the Son, and I have set you free…”

What we believe about God affects EVERYTHING we say and do…and everything we don’t say and don’t do. It’s time to break agreement with lies and declare what’s true about God, to gaze on Him daily and let His beauty transform us. It’s not an instant thing, but it’s a beautiful, messy process that God loves because He loves us.

There is no fear here…I am a child of Perfect Love.

About…

The Lord is always speaking. He’s is forever singing His lovingkindness over us. He is the Lord of all creation, of heaven, and earth, and yet desires to draw us close and reveal to us His secrets. My heart for this blog is to encourage everyone who reads this with wisdom and encouragement from Him. It is His Word that we stand on, that strengthens us, that washes us, and sustains our very being. We are His children, designed to be kings and priests before Him, and ultimately, to be His Bride, united with Him in suffering and in glory. He is faithful when we are faithless. My deepest desire is to know Him and be found in Him…let’s walk together…