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.

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