The past week I’ve been working on a elaborate “paint by number” for adults that I bought back when the quarantine began. I honestly have no idea why I ordered it because it’s not something I’d normally buy. As I’ve been working on it today I was amazing at the hundreds of tiny details to be painted and how some of the tiniest spots make the biggest impact on the painting.
As I looked at it the Lord began to speak to me about the intricate details. He said, “Kathi, I don’t only care about nations and initiatives but I care deeply about the ‘seemingly’ tiny things that my sons and daughters love and long for. Many think that I do not care about the small details but they forget that I know the very number of hairs on their head and grains of sand on the seashore. That is who I am. I paid great attention to the details when I made each one of you— and every detail matters to me.”
Then he showed me how some people feel very small and insignificant but how he sees them so very differently. I looked down at my painting where in the midst of large areas of dark and neutral colors there are two small dots of red paint. They literally make all of the large areas almost fade way because they stand out with such vibrancy. That is how he sees many who feel small and insignificant— they stand out like a vibrant beautiful color that draws his eye to them. Every detail matters and every person matters.
So, next time you are wondering if that small detail in your life really matters to God or the small thing that you love or that you do really is seen— then know that it truly does matter to God!
Though I am known for my writing, one of the things that I love to do is to make things in my home beautiful and cozy for my family. One Christmas season, a few years back, I got up in the middle of the night to pray and when I walked into my living room where all the little lights were glowing and revealing the details of my decorations, I heard the Lord’s voice so clearly say to me, “I love to be in your home. I love every detail and the attention you pour into the smallest spaces. I find rest here.” I immediately began to cry because that was one of the most kind and beautiful things he could have said to me. I had never enjoyed my home more than in that moment that we enjoyed it together.
He wants you to know that the pain you feel over something that others would consider insignificant is not insignificant to him. He wants you to know that he loves and cares about the smallest details of how he made you— those are what makes you uniquely “you!” Though you may feel like a little red dot in the midst of a world of broad brush strokes; you were placed in this world at this time to stand out and be an intricate detail in his creation. He sees you, he sees what you love, what you feel passion and pain about, what he placed in you and his image that is in you. You may be one of his favorite resting places!
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31
He is in your details!
Would you prayerfully consider supporting this ministry with a financial gift? We need help to continue to do all that the Lord has asked us to do in 2020. If you can help, go to https://www.inscribeministries.com/and press the “donate” button. Thank you so very much and multiplied blessings to you!
Yesterday I was on a Zoom call and a beautiful discussion began regarding the words in Song of Solomon 8:5 that says,
“Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved?”
We shared deep things about how 2020 has brought the Ecclesia globally into a desert place where He is teaching her to lean upon Him once more.
As we spoke, tears ran down my cheeks as I not only embrace what God is doing today but also remembered these very words that completed a journey God sent me on to save my life 25 years ago.
Though I was already a Christian (even in ministry), I went through the darkest desert experience imaginable for three years. This painful and dark time, which felt like a tomb, concluded with the most amazing and beautiful resurrection where I heard those words spoken to me by the One who I learned to lean on in that desert time— my time in the tomb.
That three year time period began when the Lord spoke to me the words from Hosea 2:14 that say, “But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.”
Jesus took me by the hand to “win me back once again.” There was a great battle and wrestle for my life but Jesus spoke so tenderly to me in that desert place. He fought for me and He won me.
The next verse says, “I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.” Hosea 2:15
He had freed me from captivity when I came to know Him as my savior but once again He was going to use the “Valley of Trouble” to restore me and transform me. I was ready to go through the painful process of a metamorphosis that would change everything— transform me into who He created me to be.
I believe that His Bride is in a similar place here in 2020. God’s people have experienced freedom from captivity before but as 2020 began we were brought into a “Valley of Trouble” to be transformed once again. To have our vineyards and fruitfulness restored and to learn to “lean upon our Beloved” once again.
In the beginning of this year I discovered a song called “Lean Back” (by Capital City Music) that captured my heart so deeply. Right before Covid-19 began to shut down our nation I was literally playing that song on repeat every day and soaking in the beauty of His love. Then as we went into quarantine I would hear the words once again from Hosea 2:14, “But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.” It was, once again time to “learn to lean.” Here are just a few of the lines in the song,
— You’ve brought me here to rest And given me space to breathe So I’ll stay still until It sinks in
— And I will lean back in the loving arms Of a beautiful Father Breathe deep and know that He is good He’s a love like no other
— You will never leave Your love sustaining me Before I even knew What love was
I knew that once again, we were being called back to first love. We were being given space in time to “breathe again” while the whole world was saying, “I can’t breathe!” His sons and daughters were being called into a rest that set us apart so that we could become a true resting place for the Lord (a dwelling place). The breathe of God was giving us life and first love.
“For the Lord has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling, saying, “This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it. I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor I will satisfy with food. I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her faithful people will ever sing for joy. “Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one. I will clothe his enemies with shame, but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown.”” Psalms 132:13-18
Here we are now, entering September, and I am still in that place of being set apart to fully learn to lean upon my Beloved like never before. I believe that many are. Though there is busyness all around us, there is still a place of rest and dependency that has found breath, life and first love renewed. I feel constantly undone by His beauty and goodness in the midst of such a contradicting time on earth. As people scream hate and act in violence, my soul has found “a love like no other.”
I deeply encourage you to yield to this time in the desert, in the “Valley of Trouble”, and let Him speak tenderly to you and restore to you all that has been lost. Then, you will hear the words,
“Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her (or his) beloved?”
It is there that we will find rest and become a resting place— a dwelling place for Him.
I awoke this morning with the sweetest scent wafting through my room. I immediately began to see in my spirit lilies, roses and fresh baked pastries. The atmosphere was filled with His goodness and the sweetness of His love. Everything felt fresh and new.
Then I heard the familiar words from Song of Solomon 2,
“My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away. For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land.” Song of Solomon 2:10-12
I heard the phrase in my spirit, “Everything is coming up roses.” He is saying, “Arise!” He arose so that we can arise with Him. The Rose of Sharon is calling out to you, “Rise up from your bed of despair, from the grave of hopelessness, from walking among the tombs and live again!”
Arise from the place that has left you bent down and receive His invitation to enter into the garden of His love. He has prepared a banqueting table of the sweetest delicacies you have ever tasted. The flowers are always in bloom, the food of His banqueting table has been set out and the angels are singing songs of invitation and intimacy. His banner over you is love!
“He brought me to the banqueting house, And his banner over me was love. Sustain me with cakes of raisins, Refresh me with apples, For I am lovesick. His left hand is under my head, And his right hand embraces me.” Song of Solomon 2:4-6
It is such an intimate invitation to you, His beloved bride. His hand will lift you up and His arms will embrace you. The sweet taste of His goodness will sustain you and heal you. His shade will cool you and He will cover you with a canopy (banner) of His love while blowing the cool breeze of His breath (His Ruach) upon you. His wind will refresh and revive you.
God is announcing the end of your winter and calling you into this intimate place to revive you with His love. Come! Arise Beloved! His hand is reaching out to lift you up. The door is opened to you—enter this garden of restoration and love.
Thank you to each of you who have stood withus and our ministry in prayer and support during 2020. We are praying for you and your loved ones continuously.
The Holy Spirit has had me praying for the body of Christ and our nation out of Ephesians 3, beginning with verse 16, for the past few weeks. Verse 16 says,
“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.” Ephesians 3:16
What a powerful and wonderful prayer that we should all be praying for every believer. It’s such a Kairos time to see the Spirit of the Lord empower each of us with “inner strength” out of His “glorious and unlimited resources!” This is a prayer we should be praying over our lives, our loved ones and even our nations leaders who believe in Christ as their Savior. An inner strength is needed like never before in our lifetime.
Ephesians 3 goes on to say in verse 17,
“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” Ephesians 3:17
I see so many who are weary and feeling weak and yet this verse offers a solid solution for keeping you strong. As you are empowered by His Spirit with inner strength; which will produce trust in Him— then Christ will make His home in your heart. As your heart becomes a resting place for our Savior, His love will empower you and the roots of your life will go deep into the rich soil of His love. It’s a beautiful progression of inward prosperity and riches.
If trust in God is what causes Him to make His home in our heart then just think of what would happen if our nation(s) turned back to “In God We Trust!” God would find a home and a resting place in the heart of our nation once again. But often these restorations begin in the house of God (in His people first).
Let’s continue onto verse 18,
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.” Ephesians 3:18
This is so essential for God’s people! If we would pray that the Spirit would empower us to understand the width, length, height and depth of the His love then we would know what is needed and what the world is crying out to understand and experience. It says, “…as all God’s people should…” In other words, we don’t but we should! Often as you scroll through social media and observe much of what God’s people have to say, what you will quickly discover is that there are a lot of opinions and words without a depth of love— or without being rooted in love. What is prophesy or words without love?
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-2
The gifts of the Spirit without the love of God are just noise! There is already too much noise out there. What sets our words and voice apart from all the noise? Love! When we begin to be rooted in the love of God, which begins with trusting Him, then we release the sound that breaks through the noise! Love is the frequency of Heaven that shatters darkness, confusion and fear. It breaks through barriers and opens deaf ears.
Ephesians 3:19 goes on to say this,
“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:19
There is an “experience that surpasses understanding.” When a person has an experience with the love of God— then they are forever changed! I can understand that “you love me” but the personal experience with your love will impact and change my life!
Men and women are made complete and “full of life” when they experience God’s love. But what does this verse also say? They will be made complete in His “power” that comes from God!!
I have been around Christian ministers who moved in a so-called power ministry and yet there was a great lack of love. Power without love is illegal! Almost all of these ministries end up falling away because we must be rooted and grounded in love to rightfully be empowered by His Spirit and to see others experience the life changing power that the love of God brings. Power without love will destroy both the user and the receiver.
Finally, Ephesians 3:20 says,
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20
We love this verse!! The “more than we can ask or think (imagine)” is one of Christian’s favorite verses. But we must put it into context. This verse comes after verses 16-19. There is a progression that we cannot skip.
• Praying for His Spirit to empower us with inner strength.
• Trusting Him so that He makes His home in our hearts.
• Allowing the roots of our life to go deep in the soil of His love.
• Asking to understand the fullness of the love of God.
• Asking to experience the love of God since we cannot fully understand it.
• Asking the Spirit to make you complete with all life and power that comes from God.
• Yeilding to God’s mighty power to work in each of us which accomplishes more than we can ask or imagine!
I believe that these are key verses the Spirit of God wants prayed over our lives, our loved ones and those in leadership. Love shifts everything! It changes the sound, the narrative, the power to change the lives around us, the atmosphere and the world!
Let’s silence the noise and release the sound that has depth, width, length and height…the sound that is rooted in the love of God!
In times like we are living in it could be easy to become downcast or overwhelmed by all that is going on in the world around us. I’ve heard stories of young children, pre-teens and teenagers having panic attacks, fighting hopelessness and weeping uncontrollably. Although, it’s not only the youth, but people of all ages, becoming undone because nothing seems secure or familiar.
So— as the Church— how do we respond and comfort those who are fearful and hurting? We first begin with us and at home.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
We must quiet our souls and anchor our lives and the atmosphere in our homes in the truth that “He is God!” Nothing can change that and we can rest and breathe deep knowing that He is God and He is good. We are not without hope! As you anchor your life in the love of God you can then take practical steps to reset the atmosphere within your home.
• Turn off the TV (especially the news which glorifies the agenda of fear and hopelessness).
• Turn on worship music and fill your home with the message of hope and praise! God is in control!
• Sit down with your children and family members and let them talk, process and give them answers that assure them that God is still in control. Speak peace— speak hope!
• Hold each other long and often. Sometime we just need to be held— and held long— until love and comfort replaces the fears and pain.
• Take walks, play games and make memories together.
• Read and pray the Word over your home and family!
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
I just finished a 14-day series centered around this verse! We must turn the narrative of hate, rage, deception and that which is “newsworthy” to that which is “praiseworthy!” When we do that it begins to renew our minds with truth, hope and love.
“How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 36:7
Here is your “nothing better” truth statement! There is nothing better then the steadfast love of God. He is our refuge and constant place of security.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
Nothing can separate us and nothing is better then living in the grip of His love. NOTHING!
When one of my kids are hurting I will sit them down and I will speak the truth of God’s love over them until it sinks in and saturated them! Together we will linger in His truth and love until His love casts out all fear.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
His love is perfect— every other love falls short and has limits! It is imperative to lead our loved ones to the arms of “Perfect Love.” It is there that fear is driven out. It is in His arms that we can surrender control and “become still”— knowing that He is God and He loves us without conditions or limitations.
When our lives and our families are in the grip of God’s love then we can become a refuge and light to the world around us. The world is looking for an anchor of hope. They are looking for comfort, peace, hope, light, rest and love. They will look for the refuge of true family…but that must first begin in our homes.
We must know that He is good and nothing in this world can change that. When you begin to loose perspective— run to His arms! There is no better place to be— there is NOTHING BETTER than His love and His everlasting arms. When you encounter people who feel panicked and out of control, it is then that you take their hand and lead them to the loving arms of Jesus.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” Romans 8:35
When skewed perspective “feels” like it has separated you or someone before you from the love of God remind them of the words from Romans 8:31-39 that assure us that NOTHING can separate us from His love. Within the love of God we receive everything we need. There is no lack, no risk, no fear— just His goodness and beauty.
Be still and know that He is God! Let His love and goodness pour over you today! Then pour it over your loved ones and over those around you. There is nothing better!
Thank you to all of my amazing and beautiful friends and followers who have stood with us in prayer and financial support during this time! There are no words to express our hearts of appreciation and thanksgiving. We pray for each of you daily!
I often think that we aren’t aware of when we begin living out of a 𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑣𝑖𝑣𝑎𝑙 𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑠𝑒𝑡. It is like an old default setting that was hardwired into our souls that we depend upon when things around us begin to be out of our ability to control them.
For me, I learned early on in life to be an expert at 𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑣𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔. This did not serve me well when it came to issues of surrender or intimacy because the thought behind every surviver mentality is that there is something bad and tragic to survive. And I had a lot happen that reinforced that belief.
In my early years of walking with Jesus, I began to understanding that I couldn’t grow without letting go. I had to learn the difference between surviving and overcoming. Surviving kept me alive but didn’t allow me to thrive because it was rooted in trauma and self-preservation. The kindness and love of fhe Father began to teach me that overcoming was what He desired which is rooted in dependency and trust; not in me or my self-preservation but in full surrender and yielding to Him alone.
This was not an overnight process because the hardwiring to survive and the expectation of being left alone was at my core. It was a process of facing frightening times and deep fears and choosing surrender rather than protection. I had to allow my heart to risk loving and being loved. Surviving put a lock on my heart but overcoming was to open that door 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑔𝑜 𝑙𝑎𝑦 𝑑𝑜𝑤𝑛 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝐽𝑒𝑠𝑢𝑠 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑖𝑑𝑠𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑎 𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑚.
I remember when my family brought a foster baby into our home. I could feel my heart falling deeply in love with this little boy. Somehow I knew deep inside that he was only “on loan“ to us. I had a choice- I could merely care for him and survive losing him or I could open my heart and give him all the love he deserved and I had wifhin me to give. So, knowing that my heart would face incredible loss I gave it fully to him. For four years I loved that little boy with everything in me. It was so beautiful! Most days I’d lay down with him during his nap time and just stare at him, pray for him and tears would often flow as I overcame what I knew was coming. Sure enough that day came but through the terrible pain I had no regrets because I hadn’t held anything back. He would carry throughout his life all the love that I’d poured into him even if he didn’t remember me. And I would always have the memory and beauty of four years of loving the sweetest little boy. It’s been six years since then and I have no regrets. I learned to overcome so that I could experience deep intimacy rather than merely survive and experience only the shallow places.
There is a healing that is being offered by the Father that takes your hand and walks you into the deeper waters of surrender and trust so that you can experience the fullness of beauty, intimacy and encounter. Will pain still come? Yes, but you won’t merely survive pain but thrive in the midst of pain. Surrender has been the greatest gift because it allows me to 𝑙𝑒𝑡 𝑔𝑜! In that place I find that I experience being held by the arms of my God when I feel like pain leaves me unable to breathe. His love and intimate presence becomes my breath and my overcoming strength. It is then that I thrive!
My life is so much richer from having loved when loss was a high risk. I’ve done that many times now. Actually, all earthly love (except for our love for Jesus) has that risk. But the choice is to self-preserve and hold back or to lay it all down and love fully knowing that the the 𝙊𝙣𝙚 𝙎𝙪𝙧𝙚 𝙇𝙤𝙫𝙚 will carry us through the times of loss and pain. I have always gained far more then I lost when I’ve given all of me.
It’s time to give 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑜𝑓 𝑦𝑜𝑢 to the One who gave all of Him for you. Ask Him to reset you to the default of an overcomer not merely a survivor. Again, overcoming takes dependency, surrender and letting go of control. It’s so worth rhe cost!
It’s time to thrive while you’re alive- not only survive. Holy Spirit come and do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Help us to let go and find where you are in the midst of storms so that we can lay down with you…𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑜𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑙𝑎𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎𝑟𝑚𝑠.
Every morning when I wake up my amazing husband brings me a latte while I’m still in bed and for the next hour I sit with Jesus— worship music awakens my soul, His presence becomes my sunrise and peace prepares my heart to “be still and know that He is God!”
My routine was changed a bit today when I answered a text and my eyes were drawn to a notification on my phone from a page called, “View from my window.” It’s a FB page that has almost 2M followers that is dedicated to this quarantine time. People from all across the world send in photos of the view from their windows at home. I began to look at the photos from people’s homes and was captured by the beauty of creation! I was so drawn into each unique setting— both the ones with profound views of mountain peaks as well as the ones with simple views of a swing set that their children play on. They spoke of such personal beauty and the stories of the lives that look out upon these scenes.
I began to be overcome by His love for each life and each family that these “window views” represented. He see such beauty in each one. Like an adoring Father, He sees the beauty that the rest of the world may just walk by and miss. He sees through the windows of their souls and knows each one so intimately— even if they’ve forgotten Him. Their beauty–and your beauty–takes His breath away! The view of you is His favorite thing to look upon! You ravish Him!
Here in Virginia we’ve been blessed with such a beautiful spring! Most days have been sunny and have provided breathtaking sunsets that keep this quarantine time kissed by beauty. But yesterday grey skies rolled in and I had one of those day where my whole focus had to be on “business” work— which always drains me. As I began to feel the depletion of joy (because I need daily visual and spiritual beauty), I heard the Spirit whisper to me, “Just stop for an hour and come see Me.”
I set my laptop aside, my phone aside and my work aside. Then I closed my eyes to “behold His beauty.” Time with Him is like a stroll through a garden of fragrant beauty— flowers, spices, light, color and intimacy.
“My lover has gone down to his garden, to his spice beds, to browse in the gardens and gather the lilies. I am my lover’s, and my lover is mine. He browses among the lilies.” Song of Songs 6:2-3
I want to encourage each of you to not get stuck in the mundane! Yes— here in quarantine there is still work to be done, children to be raised, meals to be prepared, messed to be cleaned and problems to be solved. But do not forsake time that is set aside to behold beauty; behold His beauty and behold the beauty that surrounds you. Search for Him and search for places that refresh and restore your soul. Go find a simple flower and gaze at it until you see His face appear in creation.
As a child, before I knew the Lord, I was growing up in one of the most beautiful settings in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. My family was often in chaos and turmoil but I remember that in the midst of an overwhelming atmosphere I would often walk outside and lay on our grass under the towering pine trees and just look up at the vibrant blue sky and breathe in the mountain air— it would reset me and enable me to go on. I didn’t realize that it was God who had set me in a “cathedral of His creation” that I could escape to and be restored. What a gift.
Today my family lives on what was once a Civil War battlefield in Virginia. Sometimes when I walk the battlefield trail I think about those that were there experiencing such despair in the midst of so much natural beauty. I wonder if at times they stopped and looked up at the very trees that I am gazing upon and found a moment of beauty that reminded them that there was something more?
I don’t know what you are facing in the midst of this time of a global crisis but whatever it is— be sure to stop and find beauty. I remind myself each day that the sun still rises and sets with all of its brilliance, the wind still blows through the tall grasses causing it to dance, the waves still crash upon the shores, the birds still sing the songs of creation and the colors still reveal the vibrancy of a beautiful Creator. Find His face, His beauty and His garden. Go taste and see— it is His banqueting table set before you; even in the midst of your enemies.
Beauty waits to have you come behold it.
Thank you to all of my readers who have prayed for us and supported us through financial gifts through this time! You are beautiful!
When the coronavirus first began to be revealed, prior to the quarantine orders, the Lord was whispering the words from the first verses of Song of Solomon 3 into my spirit. I want to share these verses with you from The Amplified Bible,
““On my bed night after night [I dreamed that] I sought the one Whom my soul loves; I sought him but did not find him. I said ‘So I must arise now and go out into the city; Into the streets and into the squares [places I do not know] I must seek him whom my soul loves.’ I sought him but I did not find him. The watchmen who go around the city found me, And I said, ‘Have you seen him whom my soul loves?’ Scarcely had I passed them When I found him whom my soul loves. I held on to him and would not let him go Until I had brought him to my mother’s house, And into the chamber of her who conceived me.”” Song of Solomon 3:1-4 AMP
The words, “When I found him whom my soul loves…I held on to him and would not let him go.” echoed in my heart like a voice calling into an deep canyon of desire. I was longing to return to the deep place where He alone is my every “desire fulfilled.” I deeply longed to throw off everything that hindered that pursuit because I knew that it would take me back to first love; which must be the source and foundation for for all that I do.
Just as in our earthly marriages; we can get to points and times where we are merely “going through the motions.” It’s not that we do not still love our spouses, but due to busyness (parenting, careers, responsibilities) we forget the passions and longings that we shared when our love was new. If we remain in that place without rekindling or reawakening love, it will eventually grow cold. Our “I love you” will become just words that end a phone call or salutation rather than an ongoing experience that takes us to new depths of oneness with each other.
This is true with our walk with the Lord as well. In January and February, as these words were stirring in my soul, a hunger was growing inside of me to throw off every hinderance and run fully after Him to awaken first love once again. I wasn’t satisfied with merely going through the motions or saying the right words apart from a place of passionate pursuit. I didn’t want all that I did to merely become “works.”
Then came March when a sudden HALT came to the entire earth. It was like the Commander of the Host of Heaven’s army arrived on the chaotic scene of busyness and commanded everything to “BE STILL!” Since that point many have been living out a sudden self-awareness of their spiritual state. This abrupt “stop” has allowed for us to come into much needed awareness of the condition of our relationships; with God, our spouses, our families and with one another.
For me personally, it took a couple of weeks for my mind and my soul to begin to slow and truly “be still.” Though outside activities had stopped, my mind and long-standing habits of busyness still vied for first place and for my affections. But the ongoing voice of my Beloved patiently persisted in His pursuit for me to “find Him and not let Him go!”
As I began to allow the reset and adjustments of my soul to take place I could feel an awakening beginning to take place. Then— a dear friend, David Bradshaw (who is also my pastor), began doing a daily broadcast that is walking viewers verse-by-verse through the book, Song of Solomon. As I was watching one of these broadcasts I felt the Spirit say to me, “Your works are about to become ACTS as you allow first love to be awakened. This will be your personal Pentecost as you wait in the upper room.”
My heart immediately knew what He was saying! When He said that my works would become ACTS I knew that there was a clear distinction. It was like moving from “going through the motions” to what the disciples experienced in the Book of Acts. As they waited in the upper room the were like the Shulamite who left the comforts of her room and were running through the streets looking for the one her soul loved. Though they were still and locked in (waiting), just as we are today, their souls were searching and desperately waiting to be filled with the promise that would awaken them. And sure enough their Day of Pentecost came,
“On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.” Acts 2:1-4
In this place, this upper room, there were Jews (and gentile converts) from every nation together. As the “tongues of fire” settled on each one they began to speak in the native language of those from other nations that were present and they declared (in languages that were not their own) the awesome and wonderful works of God.
God’s “wonderful works” are NEVER void or separated from the absolute passionate adoration and oneness that is shared by our Triune God. The Son is always revealing His Father, the Father is always revealing His Son and the Holy Spirit is revealing the Father and the Son in the fullness of oneness and agape love. As the “works of God” were being revealed and declared through the tongues of fire; they became prophecy for the very ACTS that they would do from that day onward. Peter spoke these words,
“‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ says God, ‘THAT I WILL POUR OUT MY S PIRIT UPON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MENSHALL SEE [divinely prompted] VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM [divinely prompted] DREAMS; EVEN ON MY BOND-SERVANTS, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR OUT M Y SPIRIT And they shall prophesy. AND I WILL BRING ABOUT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE AND SIGNS (attesting miracles) ON THE EARTH BELOW, BLOOD AND FIRE AND SMOKING VAPOR. THE SUN SHALL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD COMES. AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD [invoking, adoring, and worshiping the Lord Jesus] SHALL BE SAVED (rescued spiritually).’” Acts 2:17-21
When love grows cold, ACTS turn into “the works of men” rather than the “wonderful works of God.” But when the bride is awakened to the true revelation of the one her soul loves, then mortal works (even good works) become “acts of God!” Miracles, signs and wonders will follow them because they have become one with Him (even as they are one— John 17:20-23).
What happened after that is that those who were filled on the Day of Pentecost began preaching with power that caused those who heard their message to truly repent and turn to God!
As we wait in our “upper rooms” during this time and search for the One our souls love, we will experience a personal Pentecost that will fill us with power from on high as it aligns us in “oneness with Christ”; revealing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to those who have never repented and turned to Him. When we are one the world will “know and believe!”
The message that we will carry from this time (this upper room waiting time) will be understood by those who have never heard this “language” before. We will speak, by the unction of His Spirit, in a language that the world can understand— causing them to repent and turn to God. This will bring in the greatest harvest ever seen!
But first we must respond. We must stop and allow for the time of waiting in the upper room to take place. This is where we search for Him until we find Him and then we never let Him go. The Spirit will fall on us with the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-23,
““My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:20-23
When a couple is married the two become one flesh. God is bringing forth oneness; not mere unity— but rather oneness with Christ and oneness with one another. As we become one with Him we, in turn, see others as He sees them and can be one with them through the revelation of His agape love.
It is the time to “be still and know!” There is an unbreakable “knowing” that comes through the intimacy of oneness. When Mary was visited by the angel who announced that she would conceive a son, she questioned him saying, “How can this be since I have never known a man?” (Luke 1:34) This “knowing” is speaking of sexual intimacy which is a human and physical act that brings oneness and bears fruit. It is an earthly representation of a spiritual truth. The spiritual act of intimacy also ushers in oneness and bears fruit through the revelation of Jesus— our eternal Bridegroom.
Continue to wait in your upper room and yet run in your spirit to search for Him. Oneness is coming which will reform and transform everything and everyone. Then…the world will know!
Thank you to all of my readers who have stood with us in prayer and financial support at this critical time. We are praying for you by name and declaring all of His promises to be made manifest in your life and your family.
As a prophetic community we love the “yet to come” words that speak of alignments, a new era, crossing over and breakthrough but we rarely know how these prophetic promises will play out. We are surely in the midst of finding out that His ways are not our ways!
We are living through a time of such tragedy and triumph. God is using this devastating global pandemic to accomplish and fulfill many of the words spoken over the past couple of years. Darkness is revealing the only hope known to mankind and a great awakening is happening first to His own sons and daughters but it will not be contained— it will pour out to the hopeless and desperate.
Yet, as this “shut in” lingers I am getting more and more messages from believers that are beginning to fight a sense of feeling disoriented and even struggling with a sense of depression knocking at the door of their souls. They are realizing that nothing is familiar and things may never be the same again. The unknown and unfamiliar can surely challenge our sense of security and the comforts of the “predictable.”
I’ve become quite accustomed to the unfamiliar! The Lord has rarely allowed my life to remain comfortable in the “familiar” or free of change but this new global landscape is a “whole new world!” What do you do when your soul is longing for something sure, something unchanged and something familiar?
The longing for “home” (the familiar) is not a bad thing because home is where we are supposed to find family, comfort, a sense of identity and security. It’s where you are welcomed and warmed. Yet even home has become unfamiliar as we are told that we cannot leave it or have friends/family come into it. Within the walls of homes many are grappling with so many uncertainties. Lost wages, the threat of sickness and not knowing how to find basic needs have invaded these sacred spaces.
I can imagine that when the children of Israel crossed out of their 400 years in Egypt and 40 years in the wilderness to enter the “land flowing with milk and honey” that they experienced some disorientation and times of longing for the familiarity of the wilderness. There was a new landscape, new enemies and a entirely new way of living. What was familiar was now passed away.
So…here we are! We’ve crossed into a new world– a new landscape– a new reality. God is doing deep and unsearchable things and yet it’s a bit like we’ve been spun in circles and then asked to walk forward without stumbling. I have found that there is a place where I am reoriented and brought into a peace that surpasses circumstances. It is found in the secret place where I spend time with our unchanging, unshakable and faithful God.
If you begin to feel the weight of uncertainties creeping in or burdens knocking on the door of your soul (like an unwanted package being delivered) there is a place where proper perspective is restored and everything is certain and unchanged! It is in Christ alone! Every concern and confusion can be brought before His throne and exchanged for hope, peace, joy and love. In that place we see that nothing has changed regarding His faithfulness or His promise that we will never be left or forsaken.
The American church has had so many distractions and so many things to fill the longings of the soul that this is truly a “wake up” call. Where does our help come from? Where does our hope come from? And where does our joy come from? Don’t give into the temptation to avoid what is happening by drowning yourself in binge watching a show or endless social media— go to the source of every answer and find all that you need by getting alone with the One who created you! Begin each day there and then balance will remain throughout your day; keeping you unshaken.
We are alway so amazed when we go to a poverty stricken African nation and watch the joy coming forth from the people as they dance in His presence with such abandonment. Why? They have had to find their joy in Him alone. They know that He is their only hope and source of life. Now, suddenly, those with virtually everything needed are confronted with all their certainties removed.
But have certainties been removed?? No! Because the only true certainty is found in God alone. He is our help, our hope and our healer! There is joy to be found in His presence— overwhelming joy.
The other day I went into the secret place to meet with Him and I was almost immediately met with the “joy of my salvation!” I don’t know if I’ve ever had such a deep revelation of my salvation and the salvation purchased on the cross for every person who has or will ever live. I began to weep with such joy and gratitude that it was like a fountain sprinting forth from my entire being. It was unexpected and such a gift. I left that time feeling more sure, more secure and more joyful then I could ever imagine.
Everything you need emotionally, spiritually and physically is found in Him! Begin each day by letting your feet wander to Him where you can walk with Him in eternal places. Go before Him and let His love reorient you to what is real and what is eternal. When those moments of confusion or depression come to deliver darkness upon the doorstep of your life; quickly run back to where He dwells. Learn to live there, abide there and make it your home.
I am praying peace, hope, joy and love on each and everyone of you.
Thank you to all of my readers that have stood with us in prayer and financial support through this time! I pray for each of you by name and am decreeing prosperity in your home, your heart and for your family.