Last night I was speaking with a group of friends about the issue of fear when someone made a profound statement: “Fear and faith are the same thing. They are both expectations of something. Fear expects something bad to happen while faith expects something good.” Romans 8:14-16 says,
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 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.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
It all comes down to whether we really believe who God says He is. Do we believe He is a good Father who wants good things for His children or do we believe he is a neglectful, passive Father who doesn’t care about the needs of His kids? Truthfully, the Father wants extravagant things for us. He wants to see us succeed. He wants to provide for us. If we continue to expect bad things to happen, we will become self-fulfilling prophets.
We have to believe that we are no longer slaves to fear but are adopted by a generous, kind Father in heaven. We cannot believe the lie of self-protection any longer. Trying to protect ourselves with resistant, emotional walls is sin. It is sin because we do not trust in God’s protection or leadership over our lives.
Last week I had a dream about the subject of fear. I was invited to go swimming in a pond with someone. We were both excited about hanging out with eachother but as soon as I got to the edge of the water, I started to feel that familiar hesitation. I was terrified to get in the water with my friend. What was underneath the water? Would something hurt me? Was the water too dirty? Fear consumed me. My friend went out a little ways into the water and waited for me to meet them. Finally, I faced the fear and waded slowly in. Eventually, both my friend and I were swimming through the water that I had once been so afraid of.
Taking steps to face our fears is a crucial passageway to wholeness. We have to first remind ourselves who God is and that He is much bigger than our fears and we have to worship and declare who He is even while we’re facing those fears.
Because we have all been born with a sin nature, we cannot expect others to treat us perfectly at all times and others can’t expect the same from us. If our identity is grounded in the love of God for us, than the actions of others should not affect us.
I was reading 1 Corinthians 13, or what is also know as the “love chapter”. One of the verses has been on my mind all week: “Love believes all things”. So much of my fear comes from my expectations of the pain I may recieve from others. With certain friends, I am always expecting to get hurt– always expecting to be disappointed. But instead of expecting that they will treat us badly, we should instead believe the best about them– to see them with the eyes of love, through the lens of Holy Spirit, rather than with our own fallen eyesight. In a way, when we expect unkindness from our brothers and sisters, we are walking in judgment, when the Lord has asked us to walk in love. And we must walk in love without walls and without hardening our hearts in self-protection.
I heard Bob Hartley tell a story about one of his daughters who had seriously mis-behaved one morning. Bob had a meeting which he was already late for and his daughter was making him even more late. He was exhasperated and after the episode and got in his car to attempt to make it to the meeting as soon as he could. He and his daughter have a special time on some mornings where they go and have donuts together. Right as Bob hopped in his car, his little girl ran out of the house to his car window and yelled out “DONUTS!”. Bob just looked at her with a: are you kidding me… you’ve already made me late for work because of you naughtiness expression on his face. She looked at him again: “DONUTS!” she yelled.Bob finally replied with “and what makes you think I would have donuts with you today after how you have behaved?”. His little girl looked up at him and responed simply with “because I know who you are.”
I thought about this verse yesterday as I was beating myself up about my past financial irresponsibility. I was now in a jam and didn’t really foresee a way out of it at this point. I was fretting about how I would make an extra $300 dollar student loan payment on top of credit card bills, rent, food, gas and especially nervous about having to pay the property tax on my car in July. Last night I thought I would have to have yet another one of my sleepless nights when I thought of the story of Bob and his daughter. “Abba. I know this mess is my fault but I know you’re a good Dad and I trust that even when I make mistakes you delight in me and will take care of me.”
This morning I called the student loan people and explained to them my issues and they have now reduced my payment to 150 a month and I won’t have to pay at all for the month of June so that I can pay my property tax! Praise God that we have a good Dad who really does love us, even when we make mistakes. He is so full of mercy!
I unfortunately missed about half of Shelley’s class Friday (prophesying in the end-times) but have been savoring all weekend, a little nugget of wisdom she imparted to us this afternoon. She spoke about how Holy Spirit, in the early years of her redeemed life, confirmed over and over again her assignment to a few dangerous countries. Shelley went on to explain that she thought at the time, that she would be sent out immediately. In fact, she told of a time that she had her tickets and was ready to fly out with some leaders when the Lord prevented her from going. There were several instances when she tried to make the move herself and Holy Spirit would not allow her. She relayed that it was a frustrating experience but she also realized that it was not in the timing of the Lord yet and that she, as a follower or Jesus was not yet prepared to accomplish the task Jesus had for her in the future.
My heart sunk into my stomach. As most of you know there are two cities that God has confirmed over and over in dreams, prophetic words of the exact cities from three very seasoned prophets and even a couple of open visions. The last year I have realized my lack of “readiness” to be sent to these cities. It was almost frustrating to hear from Shelley’s own mouth that she was not ready for what God had in mind for her. If Shelley is not ready (she’s been waiting for ten years), than I am most certainly not ready, either. The process of maturation is going way… too… slow. I almost can’t take it and have to remind myself daily to not give up.
God has given me abundant grace in this season. Last week when I was having an especially rough time and felt like I didn’t have an ounce of endurance in me, he brought along three leaders to come alongside and encourage me and pray for me. Intercessors need prayer as well!!! I first recieved an e-mail from my prophesy team leader explaining that the Lord placed me on her heart in the prayer room and asked me if there was anything wrong. I spilled my guts to her a bit and then she promptly signed me up for prophecy team that Friday night. Guess what the team prophesied over me? ENDURANCE! It was perfect. On Sunday night I recieved another e-mail from my fasting team leader who has been out of the country for three weeks. She basically sent me an identical e-mail with the same statement followed by the same question: “you’ve been on my heart a lot this week. How are you doing?”
See… this is what I’m talking about. A community of intercessors who go out of their way to encourage and uphold each-other through the storms of life. Both of these women are great examples of good leaders who strengthen those around them even when they don’t feel strengthened themselves. They set an example for me to follow and provoked me to do the same for others around me.
Last night I had a long talk with my (earthly) dad about a very hurtful situation that is happening right now. I’ve had two moments of significant betrayal in my life. One when I was twelve years old and another when I was 23. For the first time, my dad and I were able to sort through the situation that happened when I was a kid. For the first time I was able to hear the whole story and I was able to share with him some things that happened to me in the midst of that in which he never knew about.
I was up last night weeping about the trail of blood that has been left behind in the aftermath of this current situation. Not just my own minor feeling of betrayal but the pain many others must be feeling, namely a certain family. I was up until about 5am as Jesus walked me back through that original moment of betrayal as a child. The Lord spoke to me that all of the reactions I’ve had to pain from others or even perceived affliction from others were actually reactions from the incident when I was 12 years old. As I allowed the Lord to meet me in that time and space when true anger and rage built a well in my heart and a wall around my spirit… I made a decision. I chose to forgive. I chose to love. To subconciously still be living in that incident 17 years later had been a waste of my heart.
To extend mercy is compassion. It’s not our own shallow version of subconscious, self-seeking humanitarianism. True compassion says to a repentant soul: “Jesus poured His mercy on me, and in turn I want to be like Him and extend the same gift to you. He has forgotten my sin and now I will forget yours.” There is grace for the process of forgiveness depending on the depth of the wound inflicted. Jesus is patient as we sort out the dilemmas of our broken hearts. And most importantly, He clearly promises to redeem ALL things. This is where true hope lies. No matter the weight of darkness that surrounds us. No matter the depth of sin we’ve been victimized by. No matter the pain of knowing of we have hurt our loved ones in the greatest ways imaginable….
He is our hope. The only true hope. And one day He will remove pain and destruction and sin and He will wipe it from this planet forever.
I have been really feeling great about my supposed move to a new apartment next week. I felt that this transition was really key to the journey Jesus was on with me. It would give me plenty of time alone with the Lord and a quiet place that I could let everything hang out with him. I had a roommate that was lined up that is very quiet and sweet so I thought for sure it was going to work out. I am suppose to move on the 24th… a week from today.
This past week I went to the prophecy rooms sort of on accident. I wasn’t really planning on it and then they happened to need people. During my time in there, Esther Min began affirming me on some things that were taking place in my life right now. That I was making wise decisions and also affirming the deep things the Lord was doing in my life. But immediately she caught my attention when she said: “I feel like Jesus is going to come into your house. Yeah. I feel like he is going to wake you up in your house in the middle of the night and you are goin got have encounters with Him.”
This was confirmation for me that this move was really strategic from the Lord.
However, I’m a little bit concerned as to the status of my roommate situation at the moment. She might have bailed on me. She is currently MIA when we have literally a week before our move and I have nowhere to go after that.
Last night as I sat in my room worrying about things the Lord spoke to me and said: Don’t you remember planning things before and they never worked out exactly how you thought they would but I always, always come through for you? Things aren’t always as you imagine them to be.
It’s true. The unexpected always seems to happen to me. Jesus loves to keep me on my toes.
I am still praying that this roomie will come around. I know the Lord wants her here and the enemy is cunning and sneaky and there is always warfare surrounding big steps of obedience.
I sang this song at my Aunt's memorial service and I thought I'd share it because it has some incredibly powerful lyrics. Listen to them closely. If it wasn't for the Holy Spirit I wouldn't have been able to finish the song at all.
This video is a little creepy but I wanted to use the original writer, Julie Miller, also because she has a very unique voice. Jars of Clay and Kim Hill also sing this song.
This is such a surreal time for me. I wanted Scarlett to be at my wedding. I wanted her to be a Great Aunt to my kids. I wanted her and Uncle Robert to come and retire at IHOP (they were subscribers to the webstream and have been to Onething.
There have been a lot of personal things happening with the family since Sunday (for obvious reasons). We have been praying for her to get up out of that casket and we’re still praying but my heart just wants to go on with the grieving process. On the way up to Little Rock the Lord reminded me of the story of Lazarus. Jesus had intentionally waited four days to come to Bethany to heal Lazarus, even at the urgent promptings of Laz’s sisters. When He walked into town, Mary met him and asked Him why in the world He waited so long. It wasn’t even a thought in her head that Jesus could raise Lazarus. It wasn’t even an option for her.
It struck me that we had prayed and interceded and commanded healing into her body but we forgot (at least I did for moment) that it was all about Jesus and nothing about what we could do, what kind of healing anointing we had or how long and hard we could fast and intercede would do the trick. It would be Jesus that would heal her… not us. If He chooses to not raise her before her funeral in Houston tomorrow than I still have to trust that He raises the dead. I still have to set my face like flint and love Him even when I don’t understand at all.
He is a good, good, wonderful God.
And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.(Matthew 18:3)
Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:4)
And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.(Matthew 18:5)
When those who were carrying the ark of the LORD had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.(2 Samuel 6:13-15)
I never want to be weird for the sake of being “weird”. I don’t even want to be weird for the sake of being different. But as I’ve sat in the prayer room and watched what seemed like strange people flailing their arms about in the dance area and scoffed at them a bit, I am beginning to see something I’ve never seen before in the expressions on their faces. Most of them are completley and totally in love. They may not be fantastic dancers but they’re not dancing for our entertainment, anyway. They’re dancing because they know they are a child of God and they know God is smiling upon them and His heart is being blessed by their offering. The Bible says that “knowledge is puffed up”. The truth is we can have all kinds of knowledge about the Word but if we aren’t coming to Him like a child, if we aren’t loving others, if we aren’t approaching the people around us in love, kindness, and forgiveness than it is (in the words of my British friends)… “rubbish”. I don’t want to push away the importance of knowing the Word, however. The Word is suppose to awaken love in our hearts but knowledge should never over-ride wholly abandoned love for God. Never.