I was in bed one night recently, finishing up a book my spiritual dad gave me called, "The Veil." All of the sudden just as I began to read the last chapter, I felt a presence fill the room. It made my heart ache and mind aware of a love so strong. Although my mind could not understand what was happening, my heart knew that my Father, God, was giving me a deeper understanding of what it meant to be His child. As I read the words leading up to the climax, I knew something was about to happen. I felt something coming I had longed for my entire life. Tears began to fall out of my eyes. "What is happening?" I thought. Then I heard in my spirit, "The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15
"Abba, Father." Everything in me was crying out to my Father in Heaven. I felt as if I had been invited in to the greatest secret of life. "Child of God," is a phrase I've heard so often in the church, on the radio. It is a truth so profound yet so easily taken for granted. What does it actually feel like? What does it look like? If we are as He is in this world, then we have access to the greatest treasure of all - Our Heavenly Father. The one who holds the whole world in His hands was suddenly in my bedroom. Showering me in His divine love, goodness and glory. God, my Father.
So many of us have had really painful experiences with our biological fathers. Death, abuse, abandonment. It's hard to understand what God is really like when these wounds have hold of our understanding. Forgiveness paves the way for deliverance. It's a choice. We may still have pain but when we give God our yes to walking through pain, He is so faithful to lead us through. It is a process so worth the pain it takes to walk through. God is nothing like our earthly fathers. His love is perfect. He never fails and never will.
I believe this simple yet profound truth is the cornerstone of the wave of glory that is coming. It is an understanding and encounter so strong that demolishes every fear, sends every wall crashing. It destroys performance, dismantles doubt and leaves a resounding acceptance in it's place. It is a call to rise as sons and daughters. All creation is groaning. What are you waiting for? Cry out to God, your Father. Ask Him for understanding and revelation of His great love that conquered death. You are so worth it.
Beyond time, escaping space,
Your love transcends everything I know.
In you, I live and move and have my being.
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3
Trace your love along my face,
Inside my chest I feel you breathing,
I hear your voice behind me
My spirit knows what my mind can’t conceive
In your breath
You save me
Time and time again
With no end
I can’t escape the flood of your love
To live inside
To die and gain
Blow the paradigms of all I know
So I can glow
As you are, so am I
"Can you not discern this new day of destiny breaking forth around you?
The early signs of my puposes and plans are bursting forth.
The budding vines of new life are now blooming everywhere.
The fragrance of their flowers whispers:
'There is change in the air.'
The budding vines of new life
are now blooming everywhere.
The fragrance of their flowers whispers,
“There is change in the air.”
Arise, my love, my beautiful companion,
and run with me to the higher place.
For now is the time to arise and come away with me.
Song of Songs 2:13 Passion Translation
Perspective is everything.
Oftentimes I need to change the lens I'm looking through to see God's intention or perspective. My view gets out of focus and muddy when I get hurt, offended or scared. I begin to see things from the wounds of my pain instead of the clarity of God's promises.
It can be extremely difficult when we are faced with tough decisions, or painful circumstances. But if God is good and His promises are yes and amen, then there is an option to be pleasently expectant of good outcomes when facing trials. In James 1, Paul says it like this, "Consider it pure joy when faced with trials of many kinds."
What I focus on I give power to.
When I am focused on my circumstances and problems, they can seem overwhelming. However, when I focus on the reality of Heaven, it takes shape on the inside of me and bleeds into my thoughts and actions. When I focus on the beauty of Jesus and the love that He has for me, my problems dissipate and I get lost in a position of gratitude which enables me to live fully.
I never have to strive to gain this perspective.
All I need is simply to be still, give thanks and allow my posture to open up to receive His love. I don't need to go looking for Him because wherever I am, there He is, waiting to give Himself to me. I cannot allow the thoughts of my past dictate the present that is available to me. There is just no need for shame when the King of majesty lives inside of me.
I wouldn't want to miss the new day of destiny breaking forth all around me becasue the perspective I am looking through is distorted. I need to practice renewing my mind on a daily basis to see more clearly what God is doing. Fear is a liar. I cannot afford to see through the lens of fear. The more time I spend with Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, I understand more of what He is like and it transforms my mind. I begin to see brand new. I begin to see the dazzling light in front of me leading me beside still waters and I'm drawn away from the view of the world. It's the best view in town.
I sat at the well at Beersheba and spoke of covnenants of God. The place where Abraham made his covenant and planted a tamarisk tree. I had just left The Fountain of Tears exhibit. I couldn't stop weeping at the magnificient clash between horrorific injustice and the glory of redemption. It was a penetration so deep within me, that uncontrollable tears flowed and flowed.
I remember feeling my heart opening and stretching leading up to my trip to Israel. I even asked God if I was Jewish. He didn't answer me until I sat on this well at Beersheba. He told me, "You have my heart. You are a part of me. You are grafted in. I know you and you know Me. We are one."
I was asked to share a devotional a few days before this. I had to look at the list and choose what I wanted to talk about. Of course when I saw the one on Covenant and Wells I knew that was the one that was meant for me. God had been speaking to me on this subject for a year or so. He takes His time with us. He is longing for relationship with us. He gently guides us beside still waters into a conversation with Him.
When we accept Christ, we enter into a covenant that is impenetrible. It is a covenenat of blood, the blood that was poured out for us on the cross.
A man that walked this earth with perfect grace and humility completely connected to the heart of the Father, died not only to take our place, but so that we could take His place as the beloved of God.
In the devotional I shared about covenants of blood dating back as a ancient ritual. This ritual was an exchange in which blood was shed and gifts were given to signify that a union had taken place that was unbreakable. I have a book that shared a story of this ritual taking place between a king and a missionary. Before this covenant occured the missionary was a stranger in the land and he and his men we not safe from the war-like tribe that surrounded them. After the man agreed to cut the covenant with the king of the tribe they entered into a covenant relationship that was honored and revered by all. After this covenant was established the men became blood brothers and this agreement could not be broken even by the following generations.
This was the covenant that was made between God and Abraham at the place I sat in the picture above. Who am I that God would reveal and share such marvelous experiences with? That I would get to join in and be a part of a covenant made thousands of years ago because of Jesus? We only have this covenant with Jesus because of the Abrahamic Covenant. God remembered His people and could not break his vow to Abraham genereations proceeding him.
The old testament is a picture of the new. It is the story of Jesus. We are adopted into His family, the family of Abraham. All we need is to do is believe in Jesus and we reep the benefits of covenant made thousands of years ago.
Genesis 15:6 says, "Abraham believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness."
The meaning in Hebrew for the word "believe," in this instance is "go right into him," or the "unqualified committal." Doesn't that just say it all? Because of Jesus, we get to enter into the heart of God in an never-ending covenant where God is faithful to keep His promises. We get to dig deeper into the well of our souls and get rid of the things that don’t belong so that He can pour more of His love into us. When we give Jesus back the things He died to give us, we find the reservoir within. When we let go of our brokenness, we find an oasis that is never ending and always fulfilling. It is the spring of Life; a well that never runs dry.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8
We are not of this world and it's time for a better view. We enter this new view through encounters with God's heart. When we "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;" (Psalm 100:4) we get to enter a dimension in the Spirit that is not available to the world. Do you know what is available to you in this place?
I can tell you that in the midst of pain and difficulty, I have entered this place and the view was much different than what I saw. My circumstances did not change immediately, however, I did. God gave me a glimpse of how He saw me and my circumstances. He showed me what He was going to do through it and you know what happened?...My stance became one of vicotry instead of desperation.
What if God allows the enemy in because He is using him for His purposes? Isn't that what He did when Jesus was crucified? I challenge you to come up higher. I challenge you to not be overwhelmed and desperate but instead gain a better view of God's ways. Ask the questions, because God is longing to give you a glimpse of Heaven. It's what Jesus died to give you.
On the eve of Jerusalem Day, the 70th anniversary of Israel the nation reclaiming it's identity and inheritance, I thank you. For all that you are and all that you hold.
When I close my eyes, I can still hear you.
I can still smell Your fragrance and feel the wind on my face.
When I close my eyes I can feel the heartbeat of heaven.
When I close my eyes my heart is alive in Your heart My King.
I can lean on Your chest and feel the breath of life moving.
I am accepted in the beloved.
In You, I live and move and have my being.
Thank you for the treasure of You and the time spent together here.
I have not even begun to unwrap all that I gained in Your presence here my Lord.
You are remarkable, irreplacable, undeniable and worthy of all praise.
You are unmoved, unchanged, forever King of all.
You are my song, my cup and my portion forever and ever.
"God allows in His wisdom what He could easily prevent by His power." - Graham Cooke
My soul split open...in the whilrwind, in the storm, You are there. "Let my heart be unbroken in ways I've never known." At the brink of a generational blessing...
Father thank you for drawing me near.
In the eye of the storm, You sit with me.
Thank You for leading me beside the still waters, and comforting me in Your love.
My heart swells bigger than I ever thought possible.
There in Holy surrender.'
I give it all to You
Hold me in Your arms
My shelter, my peace, my beloved.
When I first came back to Christ 4 years ago, I received a word about healing from fibromyalgia. I had been suffering with the condition for 13years.
Fibromyalgia is a wide-spread nervous system condition where symptoms vary in the following areas:
Pain in the muscles, abdomen, back, or neck
Pain can be chronic, diffuse, sharp, or severe
Gastrointestinal symptoms: constipation and nausea
Whole body fatigue, feeling tired, or malaise
Muscle tenderness, delayed onset muscle soreness, or muscle spasms
Sensory: pins and needles, sensitivity to cold, or sensitivity to pain
Mood: anxiety, mood swings, or nervousness
Cognitive: forgetfulness or lack of concentration
Hand: sensation of coldness or tingling
Also common: acute episodes, depression, difficulty falling asleep, headache, irritability, joint stiffness, or tingling feet.
There is no cure for fibromyalgia.
The suffering I was experiencing led me to the point of being unable to work. Occasional periods of remission with the aid of medication was the only relief I had from the condition.
Even though it didn't seem I was being healed, I clung to the Lord with all my strength, and loved Him with all my heart. On a daily basis, seeking shelter in His arms of comfort as this was my only true relief. Dancing when I didn't feel like it, singing over my situation. Worshiping day and night.
I would ask Him when? I would ask Him am I doing something wrong? Do I not believe enough? The battle within my mind was intense at times. I would revert to pain medication in times of intense flares and that only made things worse. I know that God does not cause bad things to happen, but I do believe He will use what the enemy means for harm, and turn in into something glorious. When I trust in God, surrender with complete abandon and allow Him full reign of my heart, soul and mind, no matter the cost or the pain, something happens...He takes me seriously!
I had to get over myself and ask and keep on asking for help. I'm mean asking others in our body of believers. I had thought I was healed a year ago and wound up feeling foolish because it was just a remission. So that was another territory the enemy held me captive. Once I got the courage to share my pain and struggles, I put in a prayer request. From then, things began to change. It seemed to get worse. I have notice a pattern of breakthrough in my life the last couple years. It is that it is "always darkest before the dawn." The battle has been hardest just before the victory. The week leading to the healing, I was in the most amount of pain, without relief in the night.
Saturday, April 9th 2016, I watched The Azusa Street Revival all day on GodTV. Something shifted and a fire ignited in me. A new passion and determination for all God has for us as believers. The Holy Spirit woke within me to a degree I had not experienced before. The next day was Sunday service. Papa God asked me to go up and share a word to release the revival in our area. So I did. It was overwhelming and wonderful at the same time to be caught in the Spirit the way I was. Not even sure of what God would speak through me, I fully submitted to His request. He knew I would. We have worked on that a lot in our relationship.
At the end of service, I got the kids and headed back in the meeting room. My friend asked to hold my baby. The next thing I heard was Brett call for people needing healing of Fibromyalgia. I ran as fast as I could. I fell out in the Spirit on the floor. Thoughts began to stir and battle in my head, then I felt Jesus take my face look me at me straight in the eyes and say, "It is finished. It is finished. It is finished." Wow, you have Jesus look at you and tell you it's finished, there's no way of not believing.
That was 2 and a half months ago. I have been free of pain and free of fatigue! Without the use of medication! I remember the last couple weeks leading up to the healing just telling God, I just want to be able to care for my babies. I have energy, stamina and have been sleeping great. I have been able to do more physically than I have in over 10 years.
If ever you get a word about a healing and it doesn't seem to happen immediately, keep fighting the good fight. "Press on toward the goal, to win the prize of God's heavenly calling in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14)
"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." Matthew 3:11 (NIV)
Over the summer, I was going to a study group of fellow believers from my home base, Shore Vineyard Church, Toms River, NJ. We were going through a series by Bill Johnson of Bethel, Redding, CA. The series is titled, Hosting the Presence: Unveiling Heaven's Agenda. It was through the series I first heard of a baptism of fire through Bill Johnson's testimony. It sounded wonderful and exciting. Bill Johnson has been one of my favorite teachers these last few years. Amazing man of God.
After we finished the DVD, our group all stood and prayed for a fire baptism to happen in our lives. I can say that I earnestly wanted this and prayed over the next six months for this to happen for me. God is faithful.
It was early morning of Sunday, November 29, just 2 weeks ago. The Lord had me waking up at 5am every morning that week. I would worship, pray and study. That morning I had my great niece and nephew over for a sleep over with my kids. In total 5 kids to get ready for church at 11:15am. My husband still asleep at 9:30am as he was awake the night before till 3am. I was running around getting breakfast for the kids and my 9 month old baby.
While I was spending time with the Lord, I stumbled upon a prophecy in my email entitled, "Flying with the eagles." Over the previous few days, a couple of people gave me words about soaring with the eagles. As I read the words I felt the Lord's hand on my shoulder saying, "This is for you. This is happening today." It was all about the winds of change and God's DNA being infused into His chosen ones that day.
I looked at the clock at 10:15am and my heart sank. At this point I started to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit heavy upon me. I needed to start getting myself ready. I kindly asked my husband to take over kid duties, now feeling as if I could barely stand.
The Lord told me, "Just get in the shower." I got in and could not stand, so I laid on the floor of the tub in fetal position with my hand over my ear so I wouldn't get an ear-full of water. I had my eyes closed and it seemed as if the room disappeared. It felt like I was among clouds and the water was God's grace raining down on me. I laid there for awhile until I the side of my body was throbbing with pain. I still could not stand so I sat on my knees with my body bowed down over. My eyes began to burn even though they were still closed. I cupped my hands and washed my eyes then kept my hands over my eyes as they still burned. I stayed there for another long while as I could not stand. I stayed until the water turned cold.
My rational mind broke in and I realized it must be getting late and I was to be at church by 11:15am because I had nursery duty that morning. I stood up and knew I was really too weak to stand still. I asked God, "What should I do?" He said, "Go lay down in your bed." I said, "What about church? What about nursery? I'm supposed to serve today." He said, "Are you going to listen to Me, or try to please man?" There was no way to argue with that, so I got into bed. At this point my body started to tremble and contract.
My husband came into the room and saw the state I was in. He asked, "What's going on? We have to get ready. We have to be at church." The only word I could manage to say was, "Fire." He took the towel off my head and felt my skin. He said, "You are burning." He placed both hands on me and began to pray in tongues over me. That sent me into the depths. I began having visions and revelations. I heard the words, "Exit Dream." I asked him to call my friends husband to let them know I could not move and would not be coming to church. My husband asked, "What am I supposed to tell them?" I said, "I don't know, I can't move." I proceeded to fall asleep.
I was swimming in dreams for what felt like several hours. The end of the last dream was so vivid. My husband and I were driving back into Toms River from Seaside bridge. We looked across the bay and sink holes with a diameter of at least 20ft began forming and the water was draining down them. We were in awe. Next, we looked back toward the bridge in front of us. The bridge had disappeared and in its place was a swarm of clouds mixed with an ebb of water where the ocean meets the land. I saw the words, "Heaven is near..." Then everything began to dissipate into white glory. I felt myself disappearing into the light. My eyes opened and I was awake in my bed.
I lay there entirely weak and drained. I still couldn't move. My bedroom door was open and the kids were running around so I didn't want to get up anyway as I wasn't dressed. Suddenly I heard my husband playing a beautiful worship song. He was singing like I've never heard him sing before. The sound was so beautiful. It felt as if angels were bowing down in awe and content. The music began to fill me with energy.
When he was done playing he came to see how I was. "You've been asleep for 3 hours," he said. I asked him to close the door so I could get dressed. I got dressed and grabbed my phone. I had several missed calls and texts. I could not even think to respond at that point. I went on the porch with my husband and showed him the email I read that morning on "Flying with the Eagles."
As he was reading, he began to read it aloud. Suddenly, a large bird landed on a bare tree in front of me. I stared at it a few minutes, then asked, "Matt, what kind of bird is that?" He said, "Oh wow, I think it's a hawk. Wait 'till you see it's wingspan." The hawk proceeded to turn toward us, unfolded it's wings and took flight directly over our heads. We looked at each other in wonder.
The following few days were that of amazement. I noticed an increase in my prophetic ability. My awareness of how all things flow through the Holy Spirit in a most intentional way was brought to a whole new level. I could hear and see God's plans in a greater way. The most beautiful thing God gave me though was the eyes of Jesus. An ability to clearly see from Heaven's view the hidden gold and treasures in His people. The outcasts, the ones unseen, hidden in corners, the judged, the oppressed, the forgotten. God sees you. You are who Jesus came for. You are His chosen. Those in jails, institutions, hospitals and homeless. God has a plan for you. It's in Isaiah 61:1-11
"The Year of the Lord’s Favor
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion--
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the Lord,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.
“For I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be known among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”
I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations."