Tuesday, July 30, 2013

That Place.

(Lamentations 3:57) You came near when I called you,
    and you said, “Do not fear.”

That place where words just aren't enough so all there is to say is a big bunch of silence. That place where you simply sit quietly and wait for an answer, a touch, something...anything at all. God is in that place with us. Just like there are noticeably glorious moments there are also subtle moments of God's glory being released: you can't quite see those and you can't quite feel those. Those moments are silent but full of life. Combine every single one of those moments in your life and you'll realize that you were never quite the same after them...we're forever changed by God's subtle touch. We don't have to be afraid, God is near. We were created to be in relationship with our Father. That place of intimacy, of stillness, of just not having all the answers...it's ok...God is there and He likes being there with us.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

///Will You Still Worship When Your Usual Way of Connecting With God is Cut Off?///

The key that opens the door into God's presence is intimacy; It's a singular action that later turns into a plural activity. To have an intimate relationship of any kind there first has to be a connection, that bridge that allows communication between two Spirits. (John 4:24) tells us that "God is Spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth." When we feed our Spirit then our flesh, weak or strong, has to submit under the authority of Jesus. The case for me this week was weak flesh and a strong Spirit. I know when you first read that last sentence it sounds a bit bizarre or maybe a bit uppity but the Lord knows the details of my week and these days have truly stripped my flesh off to only reveal my Spirit. In past seasons I've had to battle through my flesh getting in the way of my Spirit's purpose and I continue to struggle with this of course but God had something new to teach me this week. The battle that I had to face required me to solely depend on the strength of my Spirit Man: I had been feeding Him with word, music, preachings...etc. and now came the time to see the fruit of that. I have seen the fruit and the words that were declared did not return void.

Sunday night, the Lord gave me a dream: I saw myself at a party of some kind. For some reason I was there helping out and I went outside and started walking toward my Mom's SUV. When I was about to open the door I felt someone following me so I turned around and saw a young man walking up behind me. I locked the car and asked the guy if I could help him with anything and before I knew it he pulled out a gun and shot me. He just walked away after this and disappeared behind a wall. I felt myself fall to the ground and land on grass but I didn't feel the bullet penetrate me. I was shocked by this but instead of panicking I began to declare, "I cover myself with the blood of Jesus...The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want He makes me lie down by green pastures and leads me beside still waters..." And then the guy comes back, pulls out his gun, and shoots me over and over again. The more I declared The Word the angrier he got and the angrier he got the more he shot. The bullets couldn't touch me. There was like a force field blocking the bullets. The word of God became my faithful shield. I didn't know it then but God was preparing me for what was going to come and clearly He showed me that I was going to have to declare His Word through this spiritual warfare.

My voice was just gone for almost the whole week and if you express your worship to God through singing like I do then you know how horrible, horrible, that really feels. How impotent I felt when the guitar was being played. Every chord made my heart leap and my lips quiver with anxiousness. Day after day I drove in my car with only my hand raised up and my mouth tightly sealed. The Holy Spirit was there in that moment and saw my heart. It even began to drizzle so all I could do was smile. I felt in my Spirit so strongly that the enemy was not going to hear one complaint, nor one reproach, and he especially was not going to cause confusion as to why this was happening to me. My worship was not going to be defined by what I lacked, but rather, what I had. God loves it when I sing to Him but He loves me so much more. That's it right there! He wants us so so so much more than anything else we can offer Him. The way I was approaching and confronting this situation wasn't something I was doing with the intention of just receiving healing...it was about all my love being offered in the palm of my hand to my good and faithful God in the midst of difficult circumstances. I desperately wanted Him to know that I would worship and love Him no matter what I was going through...I wanted Him to just love my heart...I wanted to make Him smile.

 I didn't even have to memorize this scripture because once I read it, it was engraved in my Spirit. Spending the night on the couch far from my room could have provoked my frustration but instead I took my pillow, blanket, my Declaration Scriptures Notebook, and Bible and read until my eyes couldn't read another word. I declared (Jeremiah 17:14) after The Lord showed me this scripture as I was reading my Bible. What is used to harm us God can use to benefit us. It will work for your good if you're called to God's purposes. Will you still worship?

Make another connection and if that one is taken away make another and then another. If your voice is gone use your hands and if your hands are gone get down on your knees. If you can't dance pray and if you can't pray then converse in your mind with your God. Make a connection. In the natural you may not be able to sing so let your life be your song or maybe you can't physically bow down so let your every step be in full surrender to God. Don't let anything steal your worship because while you see it's tangible form, God see's its spiritual form. Will you still worship?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

His Rain Falls When We Prepare Our Hearts

 I want to talk about those times when we lead or participate in a praise and worship service in which we feel that God's presence just didn't move. We compare one service to another or one season to another and find ourselves playing the blame game: Yup it was that out of tune guitar, those loud drums, the tired vocalists, and definitely those new songs. It's easy sometimes for us to concoct some crazy-wild explanation for something so simple. I've even found myself saying, "Lord, why? These people needed You to show up...I was dying for You to show up." I don't know if any of you can relate but this is a horrible feeling. You come home and think that you just wasted your time and even worse that you just wasted God's time and probably made Him tear up a bit from how awful that whole service turned out. I've been there and it's because I've been there that I've sought out my Lord's council. I love how he speaks into my heart so clearly. There are specific moments when I've just felt God laugh and I'm pretty sure when I've talked to Him about these things He's been just balling out, shaking His head, ready to just cradle me because the answer is so simple.

(Song of Solomon 1:6) 
Do not stare at me because I am dark,
    because I am darkened by the sun.
My mother’s sons were angry with me
    and made me take care of the vineyards;
    my own vineyard I had to neglect.

(Song of Solomon 2:10)
My beloved spoke and said to me,
    “Arise, my darling,
    my beautiful one, come with me.

What The Lord revealed to me was that we, His children, are the ones who carry His presence and He confirmed this with His Word that says that we are the Temple of The Holy Spirit, His church. We're suppose to be putting the "C', "H", "U", "R", "C", "H" in "church". The only way to do this is through our relationship with God. He is always able to move but we also have the calling to release what He has freely given us. His Spirit is waiting to be releases but if we don't feed our spirit's how can we accomplish this? It's about talking to our Father because His Holy Spirit is with us and longs to be upon all of us, it's about getting into His Word for a fresh and new revelation, and it's about intimate prayer and worship behind closed doors when no one is looking. God is tired of His unfaithful bride who is ravished by many lovers. In Jeremiah 3 The Lord tells His people that "the showers have been withheld, and no spring rains have fallen" because of their unfaithfulness. God uses the words prostitution and unfaithfulness to describe our desire to seek another's council and even our own;He refers to anything that occupies the first place in our hearts. 

(Jeremiah 2:13)
“My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
    the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
    broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

Do we not do this today? We lean on our own past understanding and at some point stop overflowing because we've traded fountains. We think we can survive with what we know but those moments are when we need The Lord the most. Only He can see a heart naked as it is. When He says He wants a worshiper in spirit and in truth, this is what He's referring to. He longs for His worshiper to lay beside Him and hear His heartbeat and the only way for us to do this is to cultivate that relationship. Sometimes we reach moments where we hide our faces from The Lord and sink back. He's calling out. Talk to Him. He just wants to talk to us. He just wants to love us. Our wells can't hold water but His can. He doesn't want us to struggle or get frustrated anymore. When you prepare your heart's garden He will walk in and spend time with you. Because you know Him He will listen and because He knows You His Spirit will be upon you ready to be released.

(Psalm 132:7-8)
“Let us go to his dwelling place,
    let us worship at his footstool, saying,
 ‘Arise, Lord, and come to your resting place,
    you and the ark of your might.

//We are that resting place that 
The Holy Spirit longs to dwell in.//

 "Learn to steward God's presence in stillness, not just in corporate worship." 
                                                                                            —Steffany Gretzinger

When we do this through intimate time with The Lord our services and corporate gatherings will be in continuous overflow. His signs and wonders will be there. The fullness of His Spirit is the key and that key can only be given to us through spirit taught knowledge that comes from the secret place. My secret place sometimes looks like a locked room with soft Bethel or Ihop music playing in the background, or a locked bathroom with me kneeling at the foot of the tub, a car ride, or gardening time outside. The one thing that all these locations have in common is that I am alone with God in order to seek Him. You don't need anything fancy just a place where you can cultivate that relationship with God behind closed doors so that when you do life in the open you will be walking in the fullness of His Spirit and that rain will fall no matter where you find yourself.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Top 10 Favorite Quotes From "When Heaven Invades Earth"

I finished the book! The quotes that I want to share have provoked me, stirred me up, and have also served as confirmation for me in this season. I really LOVED reading this book, in fact, my highlighter agrees. Neon pink, green, and yellow cover up almost every sentence of every page. I definitely recommend this read especially for those of you who have a hunger for more of God and who have a passion for seeing His kingdom displayed all over the earth. 


Bill Johnson's "When Heaven Invades Earth"
  1. "Resistance to change is a resistance to the nature of God. Because the winds of change are blowing, it will be easy to distinguish between those who are satisfied and those who are hungry. Change brings to light the secrets of the heart."
  2. "We lack understanding of who we are because we have little revelation of who He is."
  3. "Being involved in the supernatural through spiritual gifts is what makes the invasion effective. The kingdom of God is a kingdom of power! We must be in pursuit of a fuller demonstration of the Spirit of God."
  4. "Daniel discovered early on the power of holiness. He was unwilling to eat the king's delicacies. Separation to God is demonstrated in personal lifestyle, not associations. He could not control his surroundings...Many Christians prefer to work in a Christian business, attend Christian meetings, and isolate themselves from the very people we are left on the planet to touch in His name."
  5. "The Bible is not a book of lists that confine or corral God. The Word does not contain Godit reveals Him."
  6. "I was not left on planet earth to be in hiding waiting for Jesus' return. I am here on a military representative of heaven."
  7. "Intimacy with God is our strong suit. Never allow anything to distract you from this point of strength."
  8. "If the Father filled the Old Testament houses with His glory, though they were built by human hands, how much more will He fill the place that He builds with His own hands! He is building us into His eternal dwelling place."
  9. "My hunger for His power is only surpassed by my desire for Him. It's been my pursuit of Him that has led me to this passion for an authentic gospel. Something happened in me that won't let me accept a gospel that isn't backed with signs and wonders."
  10. "A glass is only full when it overflows. Fullness can only be measured by overflow."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Season Of Seeking Out The Hidden Things

When we find ourselves secluded theses are the seasons where one on one with The Holy Spirit we grow and mature. There is always a lesson to be taught and learned. I find myself in this season right now and The Lord is who He says He is. Faithful and true, holding my hand and walking me through. After some adjustments in my life The Lord revealed to my heart and placed this scenario before me: "There is a bus that is taking you and others to the next season and you got on early. Better to be the first one on than the last because the last ones to get on I had to push and force so they come hurt, scared, and confused. This is a season of seeking out the hidden things." I've been hearing this in my Spirit and then came God's word to confirm His spirit taught words to me:

(Isaiah 26:20) 
Go, my people, enter your rooms 
and shut the doors behind you; 
hide yourselves for a little while 
until his wrath has passed by.

(Isaiah 45:3) 
I will give you hidden treasures, 
riches stored in secret places, 
so that you may know that 
I am the Lordthe God of Israel, 
who summons you by name.

(Isaiah 48:6-7) 
You have heard these things; 
look at them all. Will you not admit them? 
“From now on I will tell you of new things, 
of hidden things unknown to you. 
They are created now, and not long ago; 
you have not heard of them 
before today. So you cannot say, 
‘Yes, I knew of them.’ 

I've been what feels like the last one on the bus and it is not pretty...it hurts. I thought my wounds were going to kill me but my Lord healed me and only the scars remain. I never understood the scripture that reads that God wounded us but now He would heal us until I encountered these seasons. God raises a banner and calls out to us but sometimes we hesitate for too long and enter a zone of false comfortability. And then He is forced to drag us because He loves us and can not sit there and watch us miss the prepared table that He has set before us. The confusion and pain won't last forever because our God is faithful and will bind our wounds and wipe our tears. There is rest in knowing who we are in Christ and what God wants us to really do. We will never be able to fit a man-made mold. That yoke is too heavy and only brings us neverending burdens. They are burdens disguised as servanthood obedience and kingdom obligations but God will not permit His loved ones to be fooled. 

(Psalm 127:1-2) 
Unless the Lord builds the house,
    the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
    for he grants sleep to those he loves.

Just two Sundays ago I had this vision during the service while the team and I were worshiping in song and what I saw was a beautiful treasure box. I felt my Lord's excitement. He wanted His people to open it. He desired for us to open it. I say "us" because He longs for all of His children to want more of Him. To be curious and child-like in our Daddy's spiritual matters. This makes Him happy. The treasures of our Father's heart are found through communion and relationship with prayer, worship, and reading scripture in spirit and in truth. 

There are things that I've had to step away from because God is dealing in His way with those things and desires to keep me on His track. Those "things" in the natural seem good and should have God's stamp of approval because they are ministry related and done in His name but God's ways are higher and so much sweeter. Can anybody say amen?! Some people won't agree but that's OK, the murmurs just have to roll off your back. In the secret place with The Lord and with the support of those around you who can truly perceive the move of God this period of time will bring a new revelation of who God says you are. In this season, unlike other past seasons, it was easy for me to let go and move with the Spirit of God because I know He's going to teach me something good. I've tasted this very fruit in the past and I've seen God's goodness and the joy that overflows from His dwelling place.

On another note, My Summer II Mexican American Lit class officially starts tomorrow and I couldn't be any more excited. My best friend is also teaching me to play piano, something a few seasons past I thought would be impossible. My excuse was that I'm not a good multi-tasker but God just laughs at my excuses and hugs me before sending me on my way. I've been reading through The Bible so much to the point where it's been a day long thing sometimes. I know I won't always have that kind of time so this season is so important to and for me. It's a step back in order to step in. A hungry heart The Lord cannot resist and that's my purpose in this time...to love on my God and to rest in the fact that my Beloved's desire is for me.
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