Tuesday, May 8, 2012
It's been said that the things in life that we go through "define" us. I can agree with that but I'd go a step further and say that if we are true with ourselves in life lessons, they actually refine us more than define us. Or at least, that's my hope and goal for my life. And recently, life has been, well...let's just say colorful. It's no secret that I am a Christian, learning and listening to God on my way through this whirlwind called life. And over the years as I've grown as a Christ follower, I've come to better understand certain things that I am faced with in the flesh and how they translate into kingdom mentality. The ways of the world can and do easily distract us from the grace and mercy of the kingdom. It's difficult to explain the things that the Lord has done in my life in a (relatively) short blog. I would do well to take the advice, suggestion and request of some who know more details about these things and actually write a book. Eh, we'll see. There are things about Christianity that some people don't understand, even other believers. I guess that's because everyone is in their own place in the journey of a relationship with God. But knowing that our job as brothers and sisters in Christ is to go along side one another and help each other through things that we have already been through on our own is often overlooked. We get overwhelmed when the Holy Spirit speaks clear and loud to us about who or what we should be doing to minister to someone who's under the enemy's attack. Why? Fear? Probably. But of what? Fear that God might lead you astray? Doubt it. Fat chance! Here are a few things that I have learned (sometimes reluctantly) when I actually stop for a moment and not just listen, but HEAR the Holy Spirit. I've learned that I have plenty to learn. Although I sometimes get a reminder lesson on something He has already tried to teach me but for the most part He keeps revealing new things to me. And those things aren't always fun...or easy. Most often they are definitely NOT easy. The flip side to that is that He never promised me easy. He promised me faithfulness, grace, provision and mercy. All of which are, in the long run, better than "easy". I've learned to worship. I mean really, truly, whole heartedly worship. Not this ho-hum; I'm singing along because everyone else is type of worship. I wouldn't even call that worship. That's acting. But real, intimate worship...when you feel it deep into your bones. I'm not saying you have to show out in church when the music plays but I'm saying just be there. Really there. Seeking Him, PRAISING Him. You can never go wrong with a solid worship session, be it in church, your car, the bathroom mirror, while you're doing chores or taking an evening run. Just be present. He will surprise you when you take the time to listen. I've learned to pray boldly and with power. I could probably write a book alone on all of the prayers I've seen answered and the unbelievable (literally unbelievable) acts of God that have come from powerful, hopeful, expectant prayers. My family, the four of us, has gone through some seriously testing seasons of life in a few short years. Alot has happened that has sent the enemy into full on, claws out, attack mode when it comes to us. I always know that I'm at a super intimate place with the Lord when the enemy starts getting loud around me. Praying that down is SO.INCREDIBLY. EMPOWERING. And each one of us has that power as a child of God. This is one of those lessons I wish I had known sooner because it is like a dagger straight to the heart of that pest, the enemy. I can go boldly before any storm, lie or heartache because the Lord has filled me with the spirit. I've learned prophecy is a gift. One that can scare the beegeezis out of you! Once you get that kind of calling from the Lord, you better be ready to simultaneously learn the lesson of obedience because honey, it's coming. I can also admit that the prophetic gift has been the most exciting thing so far. If you open your heart to hearing those directions the Lord will use you to not only be a blessing but to also be blessed in your obedience to share His word. It's been eye opening to speak something over someone and to hear my own words back to me like an echo. It's those moments when you realize God has a sense of humor. I've also learned a tremendous amount of faith. This happens to be the lesson that just keeps on giving because I find myself staring up the mountain of faith pretty regularly. I suppose some would call that a stronghold. Ok, ok, maybe that's true. The term "stepping out in faith" has gotten used so much and in such the wrong situations that it almost doesn't even have that sting that it should. I believe that when we have been through a season of prayer and we come to a decision that requires "stepping out in faith", it hurts. It crushes every security and sense of normalcy that I have. It shakes me to my core! It's a step that nearly always involves distress at some point and in turn, victory. But we all know victory is at the end of the journey. The hurdles along the way are the part of the stepping that stirs my soul. Knowing all that, I also have learned that He still reigns! So what that it's not an easy ride. It doesn't always make sense. Bad things happen along the way and so do good. But even in the midst of the climb, He is still King. He still hears my every word, knows each thought before I do...He is still the one and only God. And for that, I'll take all the stuff that comes along the way because I am confident in the one who goes before me, clearing the way for my lessons, my failures, my victories, my LIFE. And He has it all figured out so I don't have to. Learning is a good thing. It's part of this life. The life that defines us...and refines us. And if we let the refining process bring us to the King, well then I'd say we are doing alright.