Venerability . . . oh, how we fight against being vulnerable with one another . . . why?!
I used to hide behind masks myself – believe me – I had a mask for almost every situation! “never let anyone know what I was really feeling”, that was my way of approaching life . . . yes, even as a Christian, even in Ministry! I would be sharing with others about the Love of Christ and living in victory, but be torn apart inside . . . never letting others know what was REALLY going on in my own shattered world! NOT ANY MORE!!!! The Lord has shown me that there is a reason His Word tells us to “bear one another’s burdens”! Galatians 6:2
How can we truly be healed, if we do not allow others to minister to our wounds?!
How can we grow, if we do not allow the weeds to be pulled, the branches to be pruned and the roots to be fed and watered?!
I ask again . . . why?! Now, I answer . . . PRIDE, plain and simple . . . one of satan’s nasty tools that he loves to use to keep us from reaching our potential as becoming the beautiful whole sanctified Bride of Christ . . . (lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life; 1 John 2:16), his tricks never change! But why are we so quick to fall for his silly little dangling carrots in front of us?! For years I did, but NO MORE!!! I now make the conscious effort to choose to be vulnerable – to be open, even IF people make their own choice to think differently of me – that is their problem. I will forgive them.
So, here I am, with NO mask, sharing my heart . . . things have been REALLY chaotic to say the least, for a while now . . . took care of one side of it . . . now more ‘stuff’ has come up, and WOW! Mercy, I’m listening to a song just now that is talking about ‘the bottom falling out’ – how appropriate – BUT GOD! He has it ALL in His Hands! It is the trusting in Him through it that causes me to remind myself to “Breathe, girl!” (honestly, I do forget sometimes, and have to remind myself when I find myself really lightheaded!) And I look at those I love, and sometimes find my thoughts going “who IS this person? why are they talking this way? what is going on? where is all this coming from?” Of course, I KNOW we do NOT wrestle against flesh but against principalities and powers . . . etc. Ephesians 6:12 and that I just have to crawl up on Abba Father’s lap and rest in Him, drawing upon Holy Spirit’s never ending PEACE that passes ALL understanding and press on ahead . . . but, being REAL here . . . the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak (sometimes)…. remember, I’ve left the masks behind!
I am choosing to press ahead . . . for God does NOT lie and His Word promises that He is Faithful to complete that which He started!!!! Philippians 1:6
Masks down, head bowed, on my knees, tears gently falling, heart shaking, asking for brothers and sisters to surround with loving prayers and arms of love; words of encouragement . . . words of corrections, if you see anything that needs correcting, I am open – I do NOT want anything to hinder my growth! I desire to remain a handmaiden that He can use for His glory, for the furthering of His Kingdom . . . nothing else! I never want to be a stumbling block to anyone in any way! Not ever, especially not in my vulnerability, but I refuse to wear masks ever again . . . I must continue to allow my Precious Lord to mold and shape me into ALL that He desires me to be! I long to be the spotless Bride that He longs to return for! I want no blemishes, no wrinkles, no scars!!! If there be ANY thing that is NOT right – I want it GONE!!!! Oh, Jesus, You alone know the depths of anguish within my being . . . I feel as though somehow I have failed you, but I am not responsible for those around me, we are each responsible for our own walk . . . help me to remain steadfast and true to you and to them through every step of this journey . . . in love and honor and respect.
I love how you just answered me, Lord . . . WOW!
“It’s all yours. All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul. Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” Joshua 1:7-9 The Message
We need to Rest/Abide/Walk . . . that was one of the very first things we studied back in school for the Biblical Counseling courses I took. The title of the book we studied was the same, written by Watchmen Nee – POWERFUL!!! I highly recommend it, by the way.
Just returned from a very important trip that the Lord had me take regarding some urgent family matters in another state. WOW. Difficult does not even begin to describe what my flesh/inner man had to deal with in the spiritual battle . . . I am going to share two pictures to kind of describe how it ‘felt’ . . . one was taken from a fellow christian blogger (I recommend you click on the link below the photo and read their blog associated with the photo) and the second one I am sure you will recognize from an old movie. Combine the two together and that will give you a good visual of the word picture I cannot adequately describe because I REFUSE to use the kind of words that I was bombarded with (AND continue to be bombarded with on the phone since returning home . . . S I G H ).
So, here I sit, typing up these words as tears still fall gently from my eyes (they were not so gentle a while ago) and I think of how in world people can be SO VERY DIFFERENT from one another! Sure, we truly do love one another, but there it ends.
We think differently, we act differently, we see things differently, and we choose our words differently! (There IS power of life and death in the tongue!!!! Proverbs 18:21 and words truly can feel like a never ending barrage of gunfire when let loose over and over . . . )
There is a time where love is given, it is taken as an insult . . .
There is a place where a kindness is extended, it is taken as an intrusion . . .
There is a moment where one desires to give all they can to help improve a situation, and it is shoved back in the face with such venomous hate that one wishes to crawl into a hole and completely disappear from sight, but you cannot, you have to lower your voice, speak with love and continue on . . . it is difficult, but focus on what God has called you to do! It is His assignment that you are on, not man’s. I make the choice to walk in LOVE and FORGIVENESS . . . at all times, praying for their peace and supernatural encounters in their own lives!!!
So . . . as the tears continue to flow . . . I sing along with Kristene DiMarco . . .
Abba Father, I Love You with ALL my heart! I do let it all go . . . I TRUST IN YOU!!!! You are my EVERYTHING . . . I know that You have all parties in Your Hand . . . You love them even more than I do and Your heart is breaking probably even more than mine is right now over this whole situation . . . I can boldly say (even through the tears)
“Why in the world are you saying that?” (you ask) Because If these kinds of attacks keep happening one after the other, boom, boom, boom . . . we have to be on the precipice of something wonderful for the Kingdom of God and we have riled up the troops of enemy!
You know . . . he can ‘see’ the path we are on, and he knows where it is leading. When he sees the stance we take, and hears the plans we have voiced/set in motion, and knows what victories those same plans have brought others in The Kingdom of God – he begins to SHAKE . . . and (I can almost see it) I believe even froth at the mouth! Perhaps spewing out in anger, “No! Not another one!”, then turning to his cohorts, “You must stop them, they cannot proceed, you must NOT allow them to move forward with their plans!!!!”
Yes, these past few days (weeks) have been very rough (painful), and yes, there have been some tears . . . but I have taken every single struggle, every single dart the enemy has thrown my way (every stone/arrow/lightening bolt/shoe dropped/etc) before my King’s Throne! I have crawled up on My Daddy’s Lap and cried . . . He SEES, He KNOWS, He IS in CONTROL over every circumstance and HE REIGNS SUPREME OVER ALL!!!
In San Antonio we rely upon gasoline resources coming up from the Huston area, however with Houston being underwater from Hurricane Harvey there is a bit of a panic among most residents here. I’m telling you, I personally have not seen such a rush on gas stations since the 1970’s! As I was out and about in the last few days I was in shock at the cars practically on top of one another, some coming in at all types of strange angles vying to get to the pumps before another person. Really? There is NOT a shortage, just a delay. What are people thinking?!
There are literally fights breaking out, from what I’ve heard, it is a total mess. Stores are still wiped out of regular supplies, which is not necessary whatsoever . . . in other areas, perhaps, but not ours.
What DOES break my heart, however, as I observe all of this ‘rushing to / panicking after’ fuel is this:
(and here begins the waterworks of my own soul, my eyes are filling once more as they have since the first observance of this phenomenon)
THIS FUEL IS SO QUICKLY USED UP!
IT DOES NOT LAST!!! IT IS ONLY TEMPORARY!!!
We, as believers in Jesus Christ have an everlasting fuel . . . an Oil in our lamps that never burns up or vaporizes away into oblivion . . . we have Water from the Well that NEVER runs dry . . . we soak up, we breath in, we read, we meditate upon, we
Photo provided from Jay MacFarland, San Antonio
bask in, we ‘refuel’ (if you will) all the time . . . we invite others. They TOO can partake for themselves. Seems as though they are not interested . . . but here they are today . . . FLOCKING and FIGHTING over a seemingly (concocted / stretched / imagined) shortage or crisis of possibly running low on fuel for their vehicles which will only get them going for another few days or perhaps a week . . . I am simply heartbroken.
What about the very thing that will help get them through their WHOLE lives?! Why don’t they care about that?!
Courtesy of Mennonite Historical Churches
Meanwhile, our church parking lots often (even on days when services are being held) look like this . . . What am I missing here? Can someone enlighten me?
• We are not beggars, we are BELIEVERS.
• We don’t pout, we PRAY.
• We don’t worry, we WORSHIP.
• We don’t complain about hardship, we CONFESS our victory.
• We don’t give up, we GRAB ONTO GRACE.
• We don’t doubt, we DARE TO LIVE by what we know.
• We don’t retreat, we REBUKE AND REBUILD.
• Above all, we know WHO IS FOR US, WITH US, IN US, AND NEVER AGAINST US. HIS NAME IS JESUS.
August 27 near Houston· (used by permission, Grace, I thank you for your strong spirit, and I bless you, in the Name of Jesus for the encouragement, grace and love you pour out to others each and every day! Thank you for allowing me to help spread this prayer message of HOPE!)
God has a plan and a purpose behind every word He allowed to be penned . . . an illustration for us to gasp a hold of . . . to meditate upon . . . to allow to sink deep down inside of our spirit and to change the way we think, act and treat one another in our Christian lives!
image from slide share
Let us take a deeper look into the this passage mentioned in the photo, and specific emphasis on phrases within. This is a message to us ALL. We are the brethren! There is to be NO division between us – NONE.
See that “DOVETAIL” work there? Have you ever realized the STRENGTH behind that kind of fitted together?! It is the Greek word, Strong’s # 2675 katartizó translated “perfectly joined together” which, in depth, means – like shown in this illustration – a detailed, “properly adjusted, exactly fit to work together, adjusted exactly ‘down’ to fully function!” (just a partial snip-it from the full definition).
Dear ones, we are to be one in Christ Jesus! We are to be LIKE MINDED! God is calling us forth to become new wine skins He can use to hold and pour forth the New Wine He is getting ready to pour out upon this world for His Divine purposes . . . but He can only do it with those that are ready to walk TOGETHER in ONENESS of heart and mind. Those who are willing to put down their prejudices, pride, wants, desires, their “me, me, me” attitudes, and allow God to fit us together as He desires and function together as He sees fit!
There is a song, often used at weddings, but most appropriate for this message as well. I would like to share some of the words here:
Make us one, make us one
Make us one, undivided body
Make us one, make us one
For the sake of Your name make us one
Make us love, make us love
Make us love so the world will know we love You
Make us love, make us love
For the sake of Your name make us love
Abba Father, open our ears to HEAR, open our spirit eyes to SEE, open our HEARTS to fully grasp and understand what You are getting ready to do . . . what You are asking us to lay down at this time in our lives and HOW to fully embrace one another in Your love and go forth as ONE with You and become the Bride You have asked us to be – ready to BE what You desire us to be for Your Kingdom, in Jesus Name, amen!!!
When I saw this photo, memories came flooding back into my innermost being of sheer, contentment . . . times spent up in the mountains (I grew up in California) and absolutely LOVED the those mountain hikes.
Cool, fresh mountain air permeating my being, refreshing my lungs, seemingly pumping my heart with newness of life. Of course it wasn’t, but it felt like it. The crispness of the water, oh, how I loved every single moment of it. The twill of the birds singing, the whisper of the leaves as they rustled in the light movement of the breeze. I could spend hours sitting on the rocks in contemplation of the beauty of it all….sheer….wonderful….
There are many times in the busy “ness” (or “mess”) of our lives that we wish we could stop everything and escape into a place where we could sit somewhere quiet and gaze into a crystal clear lake or pond like this, look at the reflection of the surroundings and contemplate what we see . . . instead of what actually IS around us at present . . . things that must be done, chaos, bills, noise, relationships, obligations, medical issues, etc. it seems impossible to even consider being able to reach such a place of contentment . . . BUT . . . notice this whole time I’ve been talking about contentment in the ‘natural’. It is a nice thing, truly a very nice thing, and I treasure the memories! Don’t get me wrong. In fact, if offered a vacation to go back to one of those places, you bet I’d jump on it! However, I have a secret I wish to share with you that is far greater than this natural contentment of a mountain scene like described here in my memories! It is one that is OBTAINABLE for us today, right here, whenever you desire!!! …and it is a PERFECT CONTENTMENT!!!!!
“Okay, already!” I can hear you from this side of the page, “Tell me where it is!!!”
It is found only ONE place . . . in your close intimate times of worship with the Lord!!! Yes! When you shut yourself away and focus all your attention on Him – you totally immerse yourself in His presence – worship Him in spirit in truth – from the depth of your being. Surround yourself with the essence of His glory!
You don’t know how? You have never done that before? It is not that hard, once you have done it, you find it easier and easier to do – it can become the most enjoyable part of your day!!! In fact, it has become such a part of my life that my office space in my home has become a sanctuary of His presence – people often comment that they can “feel” the difference when they step through the door! Even when I am working on things, I sometimes have difficulty focusing on what I’m working on because I find myself a wee bit lost in His presence and having to shake myself back into the earthly realm to get earthly work accomplished (much to my chagrin). You see, dear ones, there is NOTHING like the glorious presence of God Almighty! There is pure love, pure grace pure anointing, pure power, pure & PERFECT CONTENTMENT! It is there we receive everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), peace (Psalm 119:165), guidance & direction (Psalm 119:105), protection (Psalm 91), hope (Jeremiah 29:11) and so much more!
I try to have worship music always going in the background . . . when not working I use something I can sing along with – when I’m working I use instrumental so the atmosphere is permeated with praise offered up before the Throne of God . . . it keeps my spirit in the mode of worship at all times . . . my preference is ‘Soaking Worship Music’ like we use at our local Tabernacle House of Prayer based upon David’s Tabernacle – 24/7 worship offered up to the Lord – keeping the fire on the altar day and night – honoring God at all times for Who He IS. I have found that the more consistent I am in my own personal worship (and with our corporate worship times) the deeper I go into His presence, the richer my relationship becomes with my Lord and the easier it is for me to HEAR Holy Spirit when He speaks to my heart! the richer my contentment in Him becomes!!!!
I invite you to enter in . . . to find your place in His Perfect Contentment that He has for you!!!!!
Don't ever change yourself to impress someone, cause they should be impressed that you don't change to please others -- When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is, always remember that the teacher is always quiet during a test --- Unknown