Category Archives: Purity

Last night, as I worked well into the morning, I watched a documentary about Amish teenagers. Apparently, there is some sort of ritual when the Amish turn 16 where they are sent out into the “real world” so that they can make a decision whether they truly want to be baptized into the Amish religion or to leave their confined lifestyle behind. I was surprised at my own response to the reaction of these teenagers. Instead of feeling disgusted by “religion” or “legalism”, I found the innocence and purity of these girls somewhat enduring. They didn’t seem to feel restricted by their lifestyle. What many think is fun and amusing in the world, they considered to be defiling. I assumed that these young women would be full of religious pride but instead they were actually quite humble and compassionate toward the people they saw in living darkness. One girl in particular went on to talk consistently about experiencing God’s pleasure throughout the day and that it was so much more satisfying than going to a nightclub or listening to a rock band, even after they had experienced both of these things. And honestly, I felt that she was very sincere about her opinions and that she actually believed that experiencing God’s pleasure was so much more enjoyable. I couldn’t help but smile.

There’s a real danger in gaining the whole world; in being successful, in being beautiful, in gaining wealth. I’ve seen very few people be able to pull it off and still be able to enjoy God. In fact, in my own life, I’m finding that sometimes it is a little bit easier to experience God’s pleasure when you are in the dungeon. More and more, I see the reality of God’s pleasure over me even when I am feeling weak and pitiful. I think people that are always experiencing difficulty are ones that God is shaping to really bring change in the Kingdom of God. Whether it is God forming character in them or simply teaching them to depend on Him in intimacy, difficulty tends to be a pathway to higher things in Jesus. If you are truly experiencing His enjoyment during difficulty, it creates a certain depth in your relationship with Him.

So what does this pleasure look like anyway? How do we make it happen? How do we experience it?

I think it starts with believing who God says He is and believing the truth about who we are to Him. It’s knowing that He is captivated by us and takes pleasure in us as well as obtaining revelation about who He is, His personality, and His attributes which we can find in the Word. We can experience His pleasure by meditating on scripture, singing about Him, and simply sitting before Him, allowing His love and mercy to wash over us. It’s forbidding doubts and fears to take entrance into our minds and filling those places with truth about Him. And when we make mistakes or let sin gain entrance into our hearts, God uses repentance as an invitation to experience His passion for us. I have been hearing Mike Bickle say the same thing over the past five years and I am just now believing it about myself: God actually likes me. HE LIKES ME! He doesn’t just love me but He likes who He made me to be. He likes all the little quirks that I hate (not the sin, just the quirks). When we understand this about Him, feeling pleasure in His presence is always available to us.


It has been a somber yet clear and beautiful day after Mike’s exhortation yesterday during the staff meeting. Actually, I don’t know if exhortation is the right word… but I’m very grateful for Mike’s leadership and I’m grateful for the leadership of the Holy Spirit who prompted Mike to give this word of correction. There is nothing more destructive to the body of Christ than sexual immorality. It not only affects our own hearts but it affects the hearts of those we love. Trust me on this when I say that it can absolutely DESTROY the hearts of those that you have made vows with.

One thing, specifically, that I felt the Lord highlighting in my heart was the secular media. I have felt the pang of guilt as I watched a show on TV or watched a movie that was not particularly pure. Why am I watching something that Jesus would clearly frown on? We can make all the excuses we want by saying that we can’t seclude ourselves from the world and “we are in the world but not of it” but the truth of the matter is Jesus might go to a movie if it were today but He definitely wouldn’t sit through a bed scene or laugh at the raunchy humor of an effeminate charector. He wouldn’t consider a promiscuous couple to be “cute”. He wouldn’t embrace wickedness like we do when we let ourselves be entertained by it.

Art and film are beautiful things. I LOVE a well-made, well-written film. That’s why when the Lord started speaking to me last night during the meeting, things began to click in my head. Consider this a prophetic word… blog-style. Once we take the position of severing our connection with wickedness and embracing righteousness… God will honor it. How will he honor it? By filling the void that we think we have with divinely-inspired creativity… which can only be the best kind of creativity. I don’t think the believing community has done a great job with asking the Holy Spirit for ideas for higher-level artistic expression. It’s already inside of us, we just need to tap into it. IHOP has been prophesied over that we will be producing films… so let’s start believing God’s promises about this and not use the world for inspiration. Let’s use Him!

A couple of years ago I broke up with this guy for several reasons. A) he wasn’t a believer B) I wasn’t all that attracted to him C) our personalities clashed… A) being the most obvious reason I broke up with him.

A few months after, this guy started dating someone else.  He began giving her all kinds of attention and I think at first, he was dating her to make me jealous. The result? I DID get jealous. It absolutely ate me alive to see them together all the time. It wasn’t that I even liked him anymore (however much convinced I was that I was still in love with him) it was just that I wasn’t getting showered with attention like I had been before this other girl came along. Previously, he had tried everything in his power to keep us together and now he seemed to be moving on… without me. While this went on I managed to make some rather stupid choices and DID get his attention back a few times just so that my ego could be stroked. It wasn’t a healthy situation and I regret stringing him along immensley. Afterall, I have been in the “other girl’s” shoes before as well and it is a very painful place.

Why are we women like this?  Why do we insist on competing over male attention? Why is it such a big deal when we have the focused eye of the creator of the universe upon us? Shouldn’t that fill us with more satisfaction?

Just something I’ve been pondering today…

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.

I’ve had a lot of outward change happening in my life in the course of a few months. Trying to put it into words will not do it justice but I am on the edge of my seat while learning new dimensions of trusting the Lord. Nothing important has come to fruition yet, just a lot of things appearing on the surface that are about to bust loose. They are all exciting and scary changes and I am holding fast to the edge of my seat and in my weakness, clinging to Jesus in the best way I know how.

It has been very very hard.

I had coffee with a very wise, prophetic woman about a month ago and she gave me some words that there would be drastic change in my life in the next 3-6 months. She also said something else that has been on my mind all day: “you can’t say the things in the prayer room that you would say to your Husband on your pillow every night.” The secret place with Him is vital right now… especially in light of the obvious changes taking place in the prayer room. Now that we have cameras zeroing in on our every move, it is much more difficult to have your private prayer time at IHOP. We are all in a season of repentance here and though public repentance is so important… so is private repentance and rending our hearts in the secret place. For me, the prayer room is more about corporate prayer and creating a furnace-like atmosphere where the presence of God is readily available.

While Jesus is stirring up all of these outward changes, He also reminded me today that there are so many inward changes that I have to sort out with Him. It’s this crazy, two-fold swirl that I have to figure out how to balance.  Things like repentance and the need for purification in my heart, healing that needs to take place and a plethera of other things He’s doing within me… I must not get distracted by all of the overwhelming circumstances, however exciting they may be.

In the book The Prophetic Whisper, Richard Gazowsky shares the significance of a 40-day fast that the Lord gave him:

My wife and I had gone to Carmel, California for a time of extended prayer.  On the third day, while we were praying at the beach, a swarm of flies ascended from the ocean surface as if orchestrated by an invisible conductor and swept like a blanket across the water and onto the beach.  I ran over to the place where Sandy was praying to see if she was alright. 

“Richard it is so strange,” she said. “While I was praying, I brought up the name of a pastor’s wife whom I knew had been tempted to commit adultery, intending to intercede for her.  As soon as I mentioned her name, these flies rose up off the ocean.” 

No sooner had she finished, then the Lord quickened my spirit and said, “I am going to show you a secret vulnerability in Satan’s kingdom.”  His weakness is in the flies.  Later that day, we went to the Carmel public library and looked up the word fly.  I discovered the meaning of Beelzebub, and found one of the names of Satan is “Lord of the Flies.”  Scientists have discovered that flies have a reproductive period from 4 hours to 40 days depending upon the species.  When pest controllers go to eradicate flies in a certain area, they spray pesticides everyday for a 40-day period.  If they destroy the reproductive cycles of presently existing flies, they can kill off a whole generation of future flies.  I then saw what God was trying to show me.  Satan can’t fight for long periods. If a Christian will pray consistently for a 40-day period, he will be able to conquer most satanic strongholds in his life.  

On this 40th anniversary of the 1967 landmark of the sexual revolution called the “Summer of Love,” we are calling for a 40-day fast beginning on the evening of May 28 through TheCall Nashville on 7-7-07.  Our purpose is to call two generations to a 40-day season of fasting from food (the more intense the better) and from the media to cleanse ourselves of the affects of the spirit that seduces our nation into sexual immorality, greed, entertainment, dependency and spiritual malaise.  Let us cry out, “God, break the pornographic plague off of the church and the homosexuality that is invading a young generation!”  Let us cry out for deliverance from the spell of Jezebel, witchcraft, suicidal thoughts, drug addictions and eating disorders.  Let parents pray daily for their children’s freedom.  Pray for 40 days that the prodigals come home.  Let a generation cry, “No toleration of Jezebel!  No toleration!”  And watch Christ break the power of Beelzebub, the lord of the flies, and once again the shout will be heard, “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty I am free at last!” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Lou Engle

I woke up abnormally late this morning… at 1:30 in the afternoon! However lazy you may think I am, I also had a very vivid dream last night due to my Art Katz reading. In my dream, a woman was instructing me on how to seduce. I won’t go into the graphic details but they were not good. I was going along with everything she said and it seemed like I was a puppet, not questioning what she was telling me but instead walking it out without even thinking. A few other things happened in the dream that indicated that other Christian men were being influenced as well. A hugely symolic thing in dreams of Jesus followers is when they use the bathroom. Well, I eventually walked away from this woman and sat down on the toilet and peed till the cows came home. This apparently represents a cleansing and I realized later that it was a cleansing of the spirit of this age.

I don’t think we, as believing women, realize just how influenced we are by this world. We are all called to be seperate to Jesus. We aren’t suppose to resemble this world yet we look on things and parrot behaviours that are despised and called wicked by God and I believe we will have to answer for this at the judgement seat of Christ. Trust me… you’re not the only one freaking out about this. I think this is a call for all of us to examine our actions and see how we could be enticing not only ourselves but others to sin.

Just something to think about…