A Mic Drop Moment

By Kathi Pelton

Last night during our “Movement Night” at our church here in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Aaron Custalow shared such a powerful message. Toward the end of his message there was a moment when Aaron shares an encounter he had years ago where he had been striving to please God and running so hard for His Kingdom but it derived from a place where he was trying to “earn God’s approval” or to “return something to Jesus so because of the price He paid on the cross.” The things he was doing (preaching, praying, fasting) weren’t wrong but it came from a place of striving. God wanted his heart and for him to run with Him; not merely “for Him”. At the end of the encounter Aaron is taken to heaven and placed on the Father’s lap. He turns and sees Jesus sitting at the Father’s right side and He looks at him and says, “Aaron, I’m not mad about the cross!” (Mic drop!)

Those words penetrated the atmosphere throughout the room. How many sons and daughters in the family of God are striving but not in the grace and rest of Jesus but in a driveness to somehow earn what has been freely given? The works are good, the running hard is good but the motivation of the heart is not aligned with sonship and the absolutely free gift that Jesus gave us on the cross (we were the “joy set before Him”). When Aaron repeated the words that Jesus spoke to him, “I’m not mad about the cross” I could feel it penetrating hearts that had been striving with a sense of “I’m not doing enough!” My heart was more free to “strive to enter into His rest.” It felt like a moment of deliverance from striving.

Yes, we should give our all for the sake of His name and so that He receives His full inheritance! Yes, we should give our “yes” to all that He asks! But we do it to run with Him in joy, freedom and in rest. The price He paid did not come with a disclaimer or some small print that we forgot to read that said, “You still owe Me something.” It was and is free and HE’S NOT MAD ABOUT WHAT HE PAID! HE’S NOT MAD ABOUT THR CROSS!

These words felt like a trip wire for many returning to first love. Somewhere along the way the running after Him turned into our job or our work but we lost joy and passion. First love causes us to run but we don’t tire and we don’t leave His side. We just want to be with Him! He becomes our motivation and we do more than ever before but we don’t weary because we run from the place of “there is no where I’d rather be and no one I’d rather be with!”

When my husband and I were dating I hardly slept; I just wanted to be where he was! I’d work an eight hour day and then go to be with him and often at 3 a.m. we’d still be talking, holding hands and not wanting to leave each other’s side. When I slept I’d awake with my first thought being, “When can I see him, hold him and be in the presence of his love again today?” That is what first love looks like.

I could feel the atmosphere changing last night and I knew that it is just a taste of what is coming. A return to first love is coming to those who have walked with Him for many years and many new believers will come in as they fall in love with the One that the Church has fallen back in love with.

There is an atmosphere around a couple newly in love! It is alive, it is full of hopes, dreams, joy and it is single focused. When first love comes back upon His bride (His Church) in the way that I am seeing, it will a corporate atmosphere change. People will be drawn like a moth to the flame. We will run and not grow weary!

I find myself groaning in prayer often these days for a handful of things; two of them are for my heart of come into the fullness of first love once again and the second is that the motives of my heart are pure (purely devoted to Him). I believe that first love will cure the heart motives issue in many! We will do what we do because we just can’t get enough of Him and our thoughts are always on what brings joy to His heart.

Be encouraged! It’s as if the ceiling is cracking open and soon we will be under an open heaven of His manifest love. And remember; “He’s not mad about the cross!”

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A Spirit of Idleness Is Coming Off God’s People

By Kathi Pelton

This morning I kept seeing a specific assignment that has been sent against many of God’s people that was keeping them from effectiveness and fruitfulness. It was an assignment to create “idle lives.” It was coming through depression, anxiety, cynicism, illness (infirmity/injury), hopelessness, rebellion and even mental illness (or mental fog).

These were specific assignments to cause lives that were created for an effectual work that would destroy the works of darkness and establish His Kingdom of light to be diminished and become idle.

An idle machine is one that is unused. It may have everything it needs to be effective and of great use but it is not in use and therefore it is idle.

If that is you then begin to break all agreements with an idle life! Begin to prophesy over the areas that have been targeted by the enemy to render you idle. Prophecy the purposes of God over your body, your soul and your spirit. Prophecy the restart of your life and calling!

Declare diligence, perseverance
energy, action, exuberance, liveliness, robustness, sprightliness, vibrancy, vigor, vitality and resurrection over your life! These are key antonyms for idleness and spirit filled words that bring life to that which has fallen asleep.

Lethargy is closely related to idleness. The spirit of lethargy is one that has been sent against God’s people time and time again. But I believe that with every assignment sent by the enemy, he looks for an “agreement” through avenues such as self-loathing, unbelief, disappointments, hope deferred, depression, etc. There is often a “wearing down of the Saints” that creates a landing strip for lethargy.

After a serious car accident in 2016 I had to fight the temptation to agree with a “new norm” of continual pain that would result in idleness (and quite frankly good reason to become idle). After a time of recovery my new norm had to be “daily overcoming” rather than being overcome by pain everyday. God is very compassionate toward the attacks that have come upon many of you but there is an overcoming that comes by rejecting an agreement with whatever “life sentence” the enemy is trying to place upon you. Agree with the fact that you overcome through the blood of the Lamb and the word of His testimony.

Some agreements could have come through a weakness that you personally have dealt with that has sought to become your identity or to disqualify you from being effective for His use and His Kingdom. But the Bible makes it clear that it is in our weakness that Christ makes His power known! Reject that which apparently has disqualified you! Agree with “Christ in you!” He is the resurrection and life! There is constant movement (while experiencing spiritual rest), continual forward motion and a fruitfulness in every season as we allow “Christ in us” to be the source!

Take the time to break every agreement with idleness. Your agreements may come from legitimate struggles but God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than you can ask or imagine. Agree with Christ in you— to live and move!

“For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’” Acts 17:28

It is time to live and move and have our being— this means “I exist!” Choose life, stir your movement and declare over your life, “I exist! I am a carrier of His glory!” The enemy want you to disappear from the scene and to become unseen, unused and non-existent! YOU EXIST! It’s time to be seen, to be effective and allow the world to see Christ in you— the hope of glory!

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It’s Time To Prophesy His Answer!!

By Kathi Pelton

All day yesterday I kept hearing the Spirit of the Lord say,

“Turn your prayers into prophetic decrees over those areas that refuse to move! I have heard your prayers so now prophesy My answer!”

It’s time to prophesy what the Lord has said over that area, that person or that circumstance that seemingly will not budge! You have His Word to back you with authority over every place of resistant and opposition!

Faith is the ASSURANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR— ASSURANCE!! Not hope deferred but assurance! It’s time to enact Hebrews 11:1.

The enemy is trying everything he can do to get you stuck in disappointment and hope deferred. He wants to make you heartsick! Don’t give him any part of your heart because Jesus is your assurance and your great fulfillment. Prophesy to that which is shouting “you’re defeated!” You are not defeated— the enemy is the defeated one and he’s just trying to put that off on you! You are VICTORIOUS! Prophesy your victory, your healing, your breakthrough. He is the Lord of the Breakthrough!

Your prayers have already been heard so now prophesy His faithfulness and His answer NOW! 🙌🏼🔥💥

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Mountains Will Move In March!

By Kathi Pelton

As I sat with the Lord this morning I heard the sound of boots marching forth. It was an army of “boots on the ground.” Then I not only heard them but saw them. There was a mighty mountain standing in their way— BUT THEY COULD NOT BE STOPPED! They were moving in the conviction of His Word, the obedience of His instructions and the persuasion of His promises. They were confident in the assurance of faith. They were not dissuaded by what their eyes were seeing or even the voices that were trying to persuade them to stop or turn back. They knew the voice of their God and were marching toward the impossible with a joy that came from knowing their God who makes all things possible. As their feet began to touch the base of the mountain it began to crumble and become level with each step taken but it wasn’t leveled until their feet touched it. They had to move forward to see the impossible made possible. Then I heard the words, “Mountains will move in March as My people march forward!”

It is time to exchange your hope deferred for the “assurance of hope.” Move into the true conviction of the unseen things that God has spoken to you and apprehend them in faith with action. Begin March by marching forward in the faith that says to the mountains that stand before you, “Be removed!”

This week there will be some of you who will go straight through what stood before you last week just because you moved forward in the assurance of your hope! That mountain has no power over you when you walk in the assurance of faith. It crumbles at the sound and touch of your feet of faith. Your boots are your confidence in Him and they have power over everything that has exulted itself against His name, His Word and His truth. It crumbles at the sound of true faith on the move. Like David before Goliath; it will fall!

Rarely in my life have I seen the way open up before me prior to steps of faith taken; it is when I stepped forward (in His leading) that the way was made and mountains were moved.

So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Matthew 21:21-22

Far too often God’s people wait for the mountain to be removed and end up setting up camp at the base of the mountain that stands before them. They don’t know the authority that accompanies their faith or that the mere sound of the forward movement of their faith levels the path and clears the way. Many who have camped at the base of these impossible mountains have lived in the shadow of hope deferred which has caused their hearts to grow sick. Disappointment and disillusionment have become their view but the Lord is not stopped by mountains or threatened by obstacles; He is calling you to put your boots of faith back on and place your feet on that mountain— then watch as it crumbles before you.

Mountains will fall, giants will fall and hope deferred with crumble as you see your desire fulfilled! What has the Lord spoken to you? Are you waiting passively to see it come to you without putting your feet upon the mountain or facing down the giant? March is a month to put on your boots and march forward— speak to that mountain, “Be ye removed!” Go forward.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

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His Secret Garden Is Being Unlocked In You

By Kathi Pelton

Years ago when our family still lived in California I would take long walks every morning. My route was the same each day and on that route I’d love to look at the beautiful yards that lined the streets. But there was this one house on one of the streets that had a yard that was full of weeds; overgrown and clearly never tended to. It always grabbed my attention as it stood out in such contrast to the well-kept yards all around it. One day as I passed by it I just stopped and stared at it for a very long time. I found myself lost in the potential that it had. I could tell that at one time someone had planted a flower garden within it but many years had gone by without a gardener to tend to it and now weeds choked out it’s once held beauty.

That day, as I stood there dreaming of what I’d do if it was my garden, the Lord spoke to me. He said, “Kathi, every person you walk by has great potential. Within each person is a secret garden filled with beauty was created to display different aspects of My image. Will you stop and dream with Me when you see a broken person that has not been nurtured or tended to with love? They are My secret gardens that I want unlocked.”

I knew that when He said “dream with Me” that it implied prayer, seeing beyond the natural, speaking identity, sowing into them and nurturing them. I said, “Yes.”

That “yes” began a journey of seeing with new eyes. I learned to look at people through the eyes of their Creator. Not one single person was ever created outside of His image and His beauty. Not one!

My husband and I found ourselves taking teenaged boys into our home that were broken, bruised and orphaned. These boys were so damaged that it truly took a revelation of “who God created them to be” to be able to walk day after day through their anger, their depravity and the brokenness that had become their identity.

One of our boys was easily triggered by little things in everyday life. His anger would come out with such venom that we needed a divine strategy of how to calm his pain. The Lord had shown me who he was created to be and even the plans for his life. He asked me to begin to speak that beauty over him in these moments of rage. The next time this young teen was triggered I looked at him and said, “Son, that’s not who you are! You are beautiful, kind, caring…” As I began to speak to “who he was” (rather than address what he was doing), he began weeping. He would let me hold him, calm him and restore him to peace. He expected someone to tell him who he had been taught he was (angry, unwanted, hateful, stupid, etc.) but what he received was a love that called him into his true identity. Today this young man is walking in that beautiful identity! The secret garden was unlocked and tended to with love and care.

This morning as I waited before the Lord I felt two things deep on His heart; one was how His people see themselves. The second was how His people see the broken (especially in the younger generation).

Far too often even those who know the Lord view themselves through their pasts or what the natural world has taught them. They see their weeds, their thorns, their hardened soil rather than partnering with God to unlock the hidden beauty (the secret garden) of who He created them to be. It is only when we believe that we possess beauty, value, potential and great purpose that we partner with Him to see it unlocked. As long as we can’t see beyond the weeds we will lose hope and become overwhelmed by the tangled mess. But God does for us what I did for our teen boys; He speaks true identity, beauty, purpose and potential. He invites His sons and daughters into the discovery of His image within them. When we allow our ears to hear the truth we begin to be transformed.

I often say that God has truly surprised me “with me!” Before knowing the Lord I saw absolutely no beauty and no potential beyond surviving and hiding behind masks. Every time I look at what the Lord has done in my life, I truly stand in awe because my “garden” was so locked up that I didn’t even know it existed. Finding “Him in me” has been the greatest treasure hunt! If you haven’t begun to find the treasure called, “You” then it is time to go exploring with the One who created you.

We must also begin to see beyond all the false identities, the masks that block shame, the confusion, and the shock of a world that has forgotten who they are and who’s image they are created in. We must ask the Spirit to begin to reveal His true identity that is beyond what is seen or being lived out in the world around us. Then we can pray, speak life, call them forth and unlock the garden within them.

The world is full of locked gardens but finding His image in them is the key to unlocking the true beauty. Though my initial reaction to that unkept yard was to look the other way or judge it as “unwanted”; the Lord used it to unlock a call on my life to see beauty beyond the natural sight in people.

God is longing to unblock our spiritual sight to see beyond the depravity and brokenness. He longs for us to see beyond the deceit and confusion. He wants us to speak life and to declare, “That’s not who you are! You are beautiful, valued, desired, longed for and deeply loved.”

Speak it over yourself and then speak it over a world (and generation) that has forgotten who they are. It’s time to unlock the beauty!

I want to leave you with the words I hear Him saying over you and over His created ones today from Song of Songs 4,

“How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from the hills of Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing. Each has its twin; not one of them is alone. Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate. Your neck is like the tower of David, built with courses of stone; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors. Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies. Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense. You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you. Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon. Descend from the crest of Amana, from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon, from the lions’ dens and the mountain haunts of leopards. You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice! Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon. You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain. Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices. You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon. Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.” Song of Songs‬ ‭4:1-16‬ ‭

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Find Rest In The Awakening

By Kathi Pelton

I’m often up in the wee hours of the morning— or what most would consider the middle of the night. Tonight was no different as I rose about 2:30 am. As I sat in the silence– enjoying the quiet, when nothing is heart but the sound of our heater and the beat of my heart, I realized that these hours (when all are sleeping) are filled with so much peace. There is no pressure to be anywhere or do anything; just rest and “be.”

As I was breathing in the quiet and stillness, the Lord spoke so sweetly to my heart. He asked me, “Why is your soul not as at rest when all is awake?”

I hadn’t thought about it but knew immediately that during the day hours I tend to pressure myself to be productive, to be purposeful and to always be growing. Though these are not bad things I suddenly realized that I was trying to produce the “wind” that fueled these attributes. Then He spoke again saying, “You are to be productive, purposeful and growing; but by My Spirit. It is in My finished work that you will find rest for your soul while still bearing much fruit.”

I know this, I teach this, I write about this but I haven’t been living it like I should. There is a rest to be found in awakening. When the world is awake and busy we can remain in the rest of Christ. If we are truly living “by His Spirit” then the pressure is off and the rest of God is on (even if we are very active).

I believe there is another great awakening happening (though in we are in the very early hours). As this “awakening” crescendos it will be so important that we have learned to live in the “rest of God” and find rest for our souls. This is how we will stay in peace, health and joy— it is found in the flow of “not by might, nor by power but by His Spirit.”

When we come to know Christ as our Savior we enter into His Sabbath rest. Our souls enter into the seventh day rest; where the work of the finished cross is complete. In Genesis we read about God creating the heavens and the earth for six days and then resting on the seventh as it was completed or “the work finished.” When Jesus died on the cross and spoke the words, “It is finished.”, the veil was torn and we were invited into His finished work which provides a rest for our souls. We were given a seventh day that has no end.

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” Hebrews‬ ‭4:9-11‬ ‭NIV

Some versions of Hebrews 4:11 say, “strive to enter into that rest…” The real effort is in the surrender; the yielding to His Spirit and His finished work in a world striving to earn something, to work for something and to make themselves something (or someone of significance). To enter the finished work of the cross is to re-enter Eden. As His Church, we know this but rarely live it. There is still so much striving to make something happen that we’ve forgotten that it’s already been done!

I find myself striving to finish something for the sake of His Kingdom rather than striving to enter into what has already been finished that brings His Kingdom. His Kingdom comes as we enter into His rest; His finished work!

Yes, I love the silence and peace when all is asleep but will I love the time of awakening? Will I allow His rest to be imparted to me so that I will not be swallowed up in the noise, the activity and the busyness of a “Great Awakening?” Will I live in His Sabbath rest where my soul has yielded fully to His Spirit and I am able to ride the wave of revival in joy, peace and love. Will I allow His Sabbath rest to create an Eden within me where I “cease striving and know that He is God?”

It’s time to rediscover true rest. He’s inviting His sons and daughters into His finished work and Sabbath rest. Rest is not inactivity but rather it is the activity of victory, the peace that comes with the finished work and the joy that comes when desire is fulfilled.

We are in the wee hours of the day of another great awakening. Let us strive to enter into His rest so that we can be sustained in the hours when all the activity is happening. Today we strive to enter into His rest so that tomorrow we can cease striving and know that He alone is God— He has assured that He will be exalted among all the nations of the earth!

“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

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Thank you for your prayers and support!

Your Delay Has Stored Up A Reservoir of Blessings— The Dam Is About to Break Open!

By Kathi Pelton

This morning in prayer I saw a vision of many of God’s people who have been experiencing long delays. In the vision they stood at a cement wall that was many stories high. The wall seemed to represent the delay and what was standing between them and the promises and prophetic words they had been given. It reminded me of the wailing wall in the old city of Jerusalem but it was smooth and much higher. But just like at the Wailing Wall (Western Wall) they were offering prayers, declaring scriptures and believing in the faithfulness of God to help them. Then I was taken up to the top of the wall and when I was at the top I realized that the wall was actually a huge dam. I saw a massive reservoir of water at the top that was at maximum capacity. Then, suddenly I saw the dam begin to open up and water began to come forth upon the people who had been waiting, praying and believing for breakthrough.

Then I heard the Spirit speak saying, “The delays have stored up a great reservoir of blessings that will begin to be poured out like a heavy Spring rain. It will saturate My people’s lives with promises fulfilled, provisions, long awaited breakthroughs, answered prayers and a flood of blessings that exceed their expectations.”

The delays have prepared hearts and lives to receive the blessings; to steward them with integrity and humility. God has taught many how to give from the place of their need, to love from the place of pain and how to wait from the place of faith. These learned things have begun to open the floodgates.

It is easy to be generous in the midst of wealth, to love in moments of joy and to have faith when there is no need. But God has strengthened the character and hearts of His people through the delay. Those who remained at “this wall of faith” to pray, declare and believe are about to receive their breakthrough. Your generosity has greatly increased and now you will be trusted with more. Your love has greatly increased and now joy will break forth. Your faith has greatly increased and now you will scale mountains.

The delay has store up for you a wealth of blessings!

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Thank You For Standing With Us!

He Delights In Helping You!

By Kathi Pelton

During a past season of refinement that I was going through, I had began praying prayers that were not familiar to my ears. They were prayers that resembled begging— they sounded like the voice of an orphan not a daughter. Since some of my needs during that time stemmed from my own mistakes, unbelief and “taking matters into my own hands”, I felt deserving of the burdens that I was carrying. I found myself apologizing to God constantly and agonizing over the fact that I’d made some choices that brought about personal hardships. My prayers went from “Thank you Father…” to “Please help God…”

One night while I was struggling with guilt, worry and regrets over my predicament I began apologizing once again and praying (begging) this way, “Please help me God…” Immediately the Lord interrupted me. He said, “Daughter, why are you praying like an orphan when you are a loved daughter?”

I replied, “Because I acted out of doubt and unbelief and now I’m paying the price. I knew better!”

With such love and compassion He spoke again, “When one of your children make a bad choice, even when they knew better, do you withhold love or help when they truly apologize and need your help out of their troubles?”

I answered, “No, I run to their aid and comfort their hurting hearts. I restore them to peace, to sonship and purity. I don’t think twice about it!”

He said, “Do you not know that I am far more patient with you? Do you know that My love for you far exceeds your love for your children? And do you not understand that it is My delight to help you?”

That night my prayer changed! It went from begging God for help to thanking Him that He takes delight in helping me. My heart released the heavy burden of the responsibility for my failure. When I repented I was released from the burden and Jesus took it upon Himself. I allowed the rain of His love to wash away the guilt, the shame, the regret and the orphan spirit that had taken hold of my heart. He baptized me anew in His mercy, grace and love. He restored my place as His daughter.

Whether what you are facing is by the fault of your own choices or even merely by circumstances beyond your control— know this: He takes delight in both helping you and comforting you! You are His beloved child and His greatest longing is to be near to you, comfort you and help you. He does not want you to suffer under burdens that you were not meant to carry. Just as a natural parent would carry something too heavy for their child to bear or pick them up to carry them when they are too tired to walk on, so will your Heavenly Father. He far exceeds any human love or compassion— even that of a father or mother.

I awoke this morning feeling the depths of His love and compassion for those who feel separated from Him because of the grief of their own failings or choices. He longs to take from you all that you cannot bear. He takes delight in helping you and setting you free. Turn your words from the words of a beggar back to the words of one who knows they are a loved son or daughter.

When my kids come to me feeling broken and burdened, I drop everything to do everything I can to both comfort and help them. God is doing that for you right now. The amazing thing is that He has no limits in His ability to help and He knows exactly what to do to comfort you. As a parent I am limited in my abilities— He is not! He dispatched angels on your behalf , He opens the doors of Heaven’s storehouse, He comes as Comforter, Redeemer, Deliverer and holds nothing back.

Thank Him! Thank Him that He delights in helping you! Thank Him that He loves you and has taken you as His own child! Don’t beg but go to Him knowing that He takes great delight in you.

“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

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Leaving The Shallows

Leaving The Shallows
Kathi Pelton

When my kids where young and we spent a lot of time as a family at lakes and at the ocean, I was always shouting out to them to “stay in the shallows.” Why? Because it is a safe place for young children to play.

As new believers we do the same thing in our infant state. We start small by playing “in the shallows” of God’s love. There we begin to learn His ways, His faithfulness, His character and His truths. Every once in a while new believers go immediately to the deep waters but often end up disillusioned or overcome because true faith requires knowing the One that you are putting your faith in.

I often see many believers (who have walked with God for many years) “stay living in the shallows” their entire lives. They know God, they know His promises and they have seen His faithfulness yet they still want to play it safe. Fear of the “deep end” keeps them in shallow places.

I was definitely one of those young believers that needed a constant lifeguard because I was never satisfied with the shallows and was constantly jumping into the deep end without knowing how to truly depend on Him. My strength was my source in those days and it rarely lasted very long before I found myself sinking and drowning in my soul (thank God for rescue angels and friends!).

I have now walked with Jesus as my Savior for 38 years (and four years more “exploring if I should commit). About 25 years ago my husband and I knew it was time to dive into the deep end of faith— we were ready to find Him there. The difference was that we had learned that “in our weakness He manifests His strength!” We understood that we were about to be made very weak and come to the end of our strength so that we could learn to rely fully upon His strength. We knew it would hurt and stretch us but we knew the discover of Him was worth it!

Even more than the natural risks we were began taking 25 years ago (by moving to another country, leaving everyone we knew and loved, leaving the familiar; leaving the shallows)— the risk of facing things being completely out of our control and coming to the end of our strengths was what sobered me the most. But it was at the end of my ability to control my life and circumstances that I began becoming intimately acquainted with His loving faithfulness. It was at the end of my soul’s need to understand and comprehend that I began to learn and experience “the peace of God that exceeded my understanding.” And, it was at the end of my physical, emotional and spiritual strength that I was weak enough to find His strength that comes with great power!

Sometimes I wonder to myself, “Why don’t you just stay in the shallows where it is safe?” But in the shallows are not where faith is needed, my love is tested and my weakness made strong by His strength. It is not where dependency is so tested that it turns into intimacy. It is not where “oneness with God” is made manifest in my life.

There is a time, when we are babies in Christ, that we “play in the shallows” so that we begin to become acquainted with who He is; because those formative days are needed to know how to live the depths. Knowing Him and His ways are vital because your soul must learn to depend upon His Spirit that lives within you. But as we grow we outgrow the shallows and must venture into deeper places.

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11

There is risk in living in the deep places, not visiting or occasionally jumping in for a momentary plunge, but actually living there. It is a risk because it requires full surrender! It requires not playing it safe, not being able to figure it out, not comprehending it and not being in control. It will take you to weakness so that you can discover true strength. Not your strength but His.

All of these requirements do not equal misery (as I once believed) because when God takes over what happens is that you come into true dependency which ushers in true rest for your soul, true peace that silenced the warfare of doubt, true joy that no longer depends upon circumstances and an “awe and wonder” as you watch His strength do what you could never do!

I love “gifts and talents”; they’re beautiful and amazing, but they will only highlight “you” until they are fully surrendered to Him in the deep places. Just look at Hollywood! So many gifted and talented people who have gained fame but become completely lost in the wreckage of their own limited strength. I have spent years traveling and being acquainted with amazingly “gifted and talented” believers (even ones who are well-known); but only a remnant of them have moved beyond their “gifting” to discover Him in absolute surrender. Their identity had to die to discover His within them. Many who didn’t learn this have fallen away.

I love surrounding myself with people who have learned to live in the depths; beyond the place that they are in control. These people don’t put on airs, pretenses or masks. They don’t jostle for position because they have gone so low that only God is lifted up. They call me deeper and make me aware of the places that I’ve yet to surrender. They have been made into His likeness and I see His image within them.

The shallows aren’t bad when you are a child, but don’t stay there. If you desire true joy, rest, peace and love you must come to the end of circumstantial joy, rest, peace and love. Intimacy is waiting for every believer but it is found in surrender. It is found in letting go of “you” to grab hold of Him.

He’s inviting you now, “Come deeper My child.”

“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” Psalm 42:7

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Get Out Of Your Head!

By Kathi Pelton

Have you ever found your mind trying to intellectually comprehend a matter of faith? It’s like a blind man trying to picture in his mind something he has never seen or felt. Your mind must yield to the faith that your heart and spirit know to be true without the demand of comprehension.

Next time your mind begins to try to take the lead on a matter of faith, tell yourself, “Get out of your head and into your heart.”

The believer’s heart trusts God! There is no wavering, no figuring it out, no wondering or even doubting…just pure childlike trust. His children’s hearts sings continually that He is a good, good Father! The heart that beats from the posture of faith finds rest in the place of surrender and abandoned assurance in who He is and in His promises.

On the other hand the head will try to filter faith through circumstances and natural things. The unyielded mind will try to usurp faith with natural reasoning which will quickly rob the believer of peace. The head will always try to understand what the heart is sure of so why not just remain in the heart?

Of course God gave you a mind and gives you wisdom and understanding of how to walk forward in decisions that need to be made and actions that need to be taken. But your trust in God, your rest and your peace must surpass your understanding. This happens in the place of abiding in your heart and spirit; not in your head.

When your thoughts are leading you on paths that rob you of peace and trust then you can know that the enemy is alluring you down a path where he intends to kill, steal or destroy your faith. Once he does this he replaces peace and trust with anxiety, panic, doubt, unbelief and fear. You will always know that you are being persuaded to leave your posture of faith and trust when your thoughts begin to rob you of peace and take you into “understanding.” Remember, God’s peace surpasses natural understanding.

God’s people need to quickly learn to train their minds to submit to their hearts (your spirit) when it is going down paths that do not honor God’s truth. Wondering minds that stray from truth need to be bridled and brought back to the assurance of faith.

Refuse to show compassion to the flesh when it spews unbelief because it breathes death upon the faith that dwells in the spirit, giving life and breath.

Become ruthless with training your flesh and mind to come into continual alignment with trust and faith. When you begin to align with unbelief it merely creates a an atmosphere of being a doubting, worry, anxiety and self-pity. The flesh must learn to submit to the Spirit if God and align with where your heart abides.

This quote by Bill Johnson speaks to this matter so well. He said,

“Questions raised in the atmosphere of trust release revelation but questions raised in the atmosphere of distrust release unbelief.”

You can have questions but they must be question from the heart of trust rather than from the place of distrust and doubt. When your thought process begins in doubt it will quickly lead you to unbelief. Your mind must be submitting to truth and trained (even bridled in necessary) to let your hearts (spirits) create a continual atmosphere of trust. Then revelation, wisdom and peace will flood in and make a path that is filled with faith, trust and joy.

God is good! His faithfulness is sure and unchanging from generation to generation. If your mind is not creating an atmosphere filled with the truth of His goodness and faithfulness then go back to your heart. If your heart has been soiled by the unbelief in your mind then ask His Spirit to create in you a new heart that is pure and undefined by unbelief. His Spirit will lead you back to truth and to the paths that lead you forth in joy and peace!

““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.””
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-13‬ ‭

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