Deeper Day 152: Great Collision

What happens when your fear collides with your faith?

There are so many moments throughout our lives when we will see our fears and faith collide. It is in these moments that we make a decision, which god will I serve? Will I serve the god of fear and hopelessness, or will I serve the God of the universe, the Creator of all things? These moments happen for every person, but the responses can be so varied.

This Covid stuff has caused a collision of fear and faith like we never imagined. Immediately when things began to emerge and I saw that America was going to make some strange decisions, I went to God first. Before the media and before I consulted others, and He placed a giant peace within me. Then He asked me for something. He asked me to be a voice of peace and praise throughout this time.

I responded with my “Yes” even though it was uncomfortable, but what unfolded for me personally because of this choice is something I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet.

Because I had committed to daily encouragements for a season, I had motivation to get dressed more often than I would have otherwise, since we had nowhere to go anyway. I had to remain focused on truth, in order to share truth and peace, so it covered my heart and mind. I had the interaction with the facebook world because of the videos that helped to combat any loneliness I was feeling. And the greatest benefit for me was that my children saw that I was navigating this trying time with peace and not releasing fear over our household.

These great collisions are revealers.

If this had all happened many years ago when my faith was fledgling and I was largely clueless about God, I might have walked a far different path. I thank God every day for the time we’ve put into our relationship together. Time with Him is exponentially invaluable.

What it is that comes out of you when your fear and faith collide? We all have to learn how to still and quiet our souls. Don’t be ashamed if your response was from a position of fear. We ALL battle this. We ALL have to grow in this, and it’s our history with Jesus that makes it easier and easier as times come and go.

Without my struggles of yesterday, I would have been woefully unprepared for this day and time. I thank God for His mercy and that He has disciplined me to withstand the ups and downs of life.

Prayer Moment: God, I pray that every day you would give me courage to choose faith over fear. Lord, I know I have failed at this many times in the past, but today is a new day! Today, I choose Your voice over all others. I choose to believe in Your goodness. You remain the same and I trust in that. Thank You for being Who You are. I adore You. In Jesus name, Amen.

My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise You, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of You among the peoples. For great is Your love, higher than the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let Your glory be over all the earth. Psalm 108:1-5

Deeper Day 151: Sprouts

Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so, they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them 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 righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the soul 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.                     Isaiah 61:7-11

New things are sprouting throughout America during this unusual season. Good things. Right things. Things that many thought would and could never happen…But God.

God calls what was dead back to life. He is the resurrection power.

He brings things to life, but I’ve discovered a huge key is this, that our words can partner with His good works. In other words, don’t speak death to what He is resurrecting. Instead, use your measure of faith and speak into the life He is restoring.  Are you willing to partner with something that you see or feel God moving in, even if you have no idea how it will come to pass?

Is your faith strong enough to lean upon God to do truly impossible things? Impossible things are His specialty. Impossible is where miraculous takes over. This is that time. God has moved into this man- made situation and is bringing about that which none believed could happen.

Families gathering together and re-establishing their bonds. Families eating meals at the dinner table again. Churches live streaming into countless living rooms on Sunday mornings, bringing worship into homes where it may never have been before. God is on the move friends.

Prayer Moment: God, open my heart to partner with the big moves You are making across America. Teach me how to guard my words so that I stay in alignment with what You are doing, and not just what I’m used to seeing You do. In Your infiniteness You can do all things. Your sovereignty is gloriously powerful. Help me to seize the day with You! Anoint me and stir me to pray for the deeper things. Give me words to release over the earth. I chose to partner with You, because I trust You and I know that with You ALL things are possible. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Deeper Day 150: The Beauty of the Flight

The other day while the kids and I were sitting on our deck, we all noticed this beautiful bird. When it was standing on the ground, it truly looked like nothing special at all. In fact, it looked very unimpressive, but when it began to fly it exposed these lines of white that interrupted the black feathers you saw in its standing position. It was truly breathtaking to watch. We gasped the first time we saw it take flight. It was so unique and special and a feast for our eyes, but we never would have seen that if it hadn’t decided to fly.

Then it hit my heart, I also look like nothing special when I’m just sitting. In times when I am dormant and have made decisions to not be me and to not release into the earth what God has created me to release, then I look like nothing special. But when I make choices to walk in my calling and anointing, I become beautiful. You do too friend.

The world needs your particular anointing. God made you a certain way so you could do something on earth that otherwise might not happen. God needs you to be you.

How is it that God has created you to fly?

If you don’t yet know, now is a good time to ask. It’s never too late to discover that thing for which you were created. You will never feel more fulfilled than when you walk in right identity. It’s the most invigorating thing in the world. And you always feel God right there. Right there in that place of release, is where God resides.

Prayer Moment: I encourage you today to find a quiet place, and even if you already know what you are called and anointed to do, ask God to speak your calling and anointing over you again. I recently did this and spent the next week having powerful encounters with Him. I am so grateful that I took the moment to ask Him to reconfirm what I am here on earth to do. The visions and words He spoke over me that week will carry me. I will reflect on them repeatedly and hold them close to my heart, and if there is ever a question that comes, either from others or myself about if I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing, I will open my hand and look at them again. They will be a banner over my life. Today, I encourage you to receive your own banner. He loves to reveal these types of things to us. He wants us to search out our reason for living. What an exciting time!!

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married. Isaiah 62:4

 

Deeper Day 149: Release and Receive

After I had the release that I detailed in the devotional from yesterday entitled, Bubbling Up, I received some amazing things. Whatever it was that needed to die within me during that weeping, made room for what came later that day.

First, I received the word of encouragement from my sister. This vision she had about Chris directly related to some of the things I was grieving. I had a choice when she shared with me. I could have remained bound in my grief and refused to let go of the sadness and receive the good word, or I could do what I ended up doing and that was I paused my heart and recognized that God sent that phone call to minister to my grief in that specific moment. Holy Spirit was so near.

Have you ever been around someone who seems hell bent on not receiving a positive word because they always trump it with another sorrow or trouble that they have had or are currently experiencing? It can be ridiculous. I can feel in my heart when someone simply refuses to be encouraged. It’s such a shame, and a complete waste of time.

This release and receiving was only increased when Chris called me later that day to report an impending promotion and raise he would be getting!

If I had been determined to hold onto the past and my list of grievances, then my heart wouldn’t have appreciated the good news in the same way. Because I had released the sorrow, I received Chris’ news with full joy and began to praise God.

We must make room in our hearts and minds for God to pour out His goodness. We must empty of the negative in order to receive the positive. It’s a beautiful exchange.

Prayer Moment: God, I thank You for Your goodness. I thank You for always preparing good things for me. You are worthy. Help me to never hold back my emotions from You and call it faithfulness. Help me instead to come raw and real before You every day and in every way. I long to honor You with all that I am because You alone are worthy. In Jesus name, Amen.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.   Proverbs 17:22

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless You. The Lord is God and He has made His light shine upon us.                    Psalm 118:26-27

Deeper Day 148: Bubbling Up

This week I was confronted with some unresolved grief that was stored within my heart. I was completely unaware that I had dammed up that place until…

I received an email asking for some information for a former employee of ours. When I read it I began to feel small pangs in my heart. When I reached out to the former employee to confirm it wasn’t a scam email (those are pretty rampant right now) I discovered he was getting a permanent position with the Oil and Gas company that Chris and I used to work for. We were with that company as sub-contracted labor for almost 10 yrs.. The funny thing is, I have zero desire to live in PA again, and Chris has zero desire to have a 9-5 desk job, but this pang still occurred. It took me completely off guard because Chris and I are so happy here and we see and fully acknowledge that God is doing some big things for both of us currently.

Still there was that pang, and after I filled out the form for that employee and sent it in, the tears began to well up in my eyes. Then I heard God say, “You haven’t grieved the loss of that job and that dream yet.” I spoke out loud to Him, “I know.” I texted Chris and said, “I don’t know why but filling out that form was a struggle.”

I immediately went down to the piano and sat in silence for a moment, then I felt led to begin to play and worship to a new song I’ve written. As I played and sang that song, I felt the presence of the Lord consume me and some gentle tears began to flow. I could feel God using the words He’d given me for the song ministering to my own heart. The gravity and beauty of that exchange was definitely not lost on me.

Then Chris facetimed me and as soon as I saw his face and he said, “So it was a struggle to send that form?” And the dam broke. Tears began to flow like a flood. There was no sense trying to hold them back. I was weeping and speaking out all the feelings I was having. Chris just listened quietly and lovingly. Then I said, “I don’t really know what I’m feeling, but I know it’s real.” He replied, “Oh, I can see it’s real from your tears.” During our phone call, I got another call from one of my sisters. I declined the call until Chris and I finished and when I called her back, her first words were, “I want to tell you what I saw when I prayed for Chris last night.” Immediately, I knew God had orchestrated the timing of her call, to bring blessing and comfort to my heart. It was an intense moment where I didn’t need to define my feelings, I simply needed to release them, and this was that moment.

Prayer Moment: Do you ever feel emotions well up from within you, and instead of engaging them and asking God about them, you stuff them back down inside? Today is a great day to ask God to reveal to you any wounds or unresolved grief that you are needlessly carrying. God desires to walk out these things with you. It doesn’t have to take a long time to release these things to Him. If you will just sit into those feelings and speak them to Him and ask Him to move in that deep place, then He will meet you there.

I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous; “The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things! The Lord’s right hand is lifted high; the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!” Psalm 118:13-16

 

Deeper Day 147: Lost and Found

As we walk through life and are every day growing older and increasing the distance between our now and our childhood, I have noticed that far too many of us lose our childlike wonder and faith in God.

The Bible says in Matthew 18:3-4                                                                                                       And He said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Recently, God has been reminding me to continue to walk through my life with wide-eyed wonder. He has drawn me back to the childlike faith that I had in the beginning of my walk. This is something that I have to deliberately decide to maintain. I have to intentionally keep myself in a childlike posture of faith. I’m sure it won’t be any surprise to you when I say that the only way to continue to focus your spirit in this innocence and trust, is to have moments of pause. Being still is crucial. It is key to so many facets of our lives, but to find true focus and to work deliberately on our walk, pause is imperative.

When I stopped, I realized that I had lost a measure of that childlike awe, but the wonderful thing was, because I have remained sensitive to listening to His voice, I was quickly able to reset and restore. What was lost for a moment, was found in a moment.

That’s my encouragement for you today, if you have discovered that you have lost any part of your walk or relationship with Jesus, it’s so easy to stop and find it again. This is that moment. Take this pause and step back into your rightful place. Place God back on the throne and remember that even though you grow older, you don’t ever want to lose this childlikeness. Never lose your wonder.

Prayer Moment: God, help me to never stray from the innocence and wonder of childlike faith. Help me to stay near to Your heart and keep me tender enough to always immediately recognize when I need to come back. God, even when I’m 90 years old, help me to continue to walk out childlikeness before You. Keep me near. Help me to always follow Your heart. I adore You. In Jesus name, Amen.

The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, He saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. Psalm 116:5-7

Deeper Day 146: Watchman on the Wall

Tonight, I found myself up at 2am and I was stirred to go and worship. I decided that if I was called to worship right now, in this moment, then God will not let it disturb my sleeping children.

I went to the piano, secured the mute peddle and like a room being flooded from somewhere inside, I could feel the spirit come out. All I needed was already right there inside of me.

Most flooding comes from an outside source and floods into the space. This morning as I worshiped in the wee hours, I was flooded straight from the center of myself. I tapped into the Source. Holy Spirit within me. Christ within me.

As I worshiped with my eyes closed and my heart surrendered to heaven, I saw myself. There I was in a space that seemed like I was alone, playing and worshiping from a beautiful black grand piano. I knew God was showing me myself in heaven in that moment. He was watching. He was listening. He was being glorified.

In that moment, in the wee hours, I heard Him speak to my heart, “You are a watchman on the wall.”

I then realized that there have been quite a few times lately when I am awake at very unusual times. In the middle of the night around 2am I find myself waking up after rolling back and forth in a disturbed slumber for a while. When I have been waking up at these nighttime hours, I have not been feeling tired, rather I wake up feeling very alert and ready to go. In the past, I would’ve fought for the sleep I thought I needed without realizing that God had a purpose for my sleeplessness. The difference is, right now when I wake at those unusual times, I get up to see what God has for me.

Why do I share this with you?

Because I wonder how often we miss out on intimate moments of God-connectedness because it is an inconvenient time. How often have we missed walking out our calling because we missed the midnight moments?

It was a midnight moment when Paul and Silas were found worshiping God and He suddenly caused an earthquake to come and it released all the prisoners. All the cells were opened and then as a result of all of this, the jailer and his entire family were saved, right there in the middle of the night. In the inconvenient hour. In the time when most people hang up their “Do Not Disturb” sign.

But in my life, there have been multiple seasons when God has wanted to make use of this strange time of day. I know from my history with Him, that many battles are fought in the midnight hours. I am trying to be much more deliberate to participate in these battles. These wars aren’t fought with screaming and yelling, they are fought in the sweet and intimate moments of our lives. They are fought and won at the piano in the middle of the night, simply singing a tender love song to God.

Prayer Moment: God, help me to never turn away from Your call to battle. Forgive me for the many times when I’ve heard that call in the night, but I’ve been too selfish for sleep to engage. I am Yours. I’m so sorry I haven’t always been an active warrior in the night hours. You’ve called me to be a night watchman, so I will trust You to make the sleep I get seem like more. I trust that I will face each day feeling rested, because only in Your Kingdom can warring bring rest. I am so thankful for You. I love You. I am Yours. In Jesus name, amen.

At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me. “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.” Ezekiel 3:16