No, it’s not about me. It’s NEVER about me. It’s always and ever about who GOD is, what GOD says and does and where GOD leads me, and when He “sets me up,” it’s for goodness I could never have engineered myself.
Disclaimer: I’m not one of “David’s mighty men” who did “exploits” and took out Israel’s enemies with their muscle, courage and swords. No, I’m one of God’s daughters who loves her family, read Bible stories to my sons and knelt by their beds to pray with them every night, put band aids on boo-boos, rode bikes with them around the block, threw together costumes for plays, and basically tried to be a loving, encouraging, supportive mom and a giving, respecting wife. Exploits? Swords? Battle? Not me! “I’m a lover, not a fighter!”
Or have I been looking at battle and exploits the wrong way? Have I thought victory depended on my muscles and courage? Is bravery only going face-to-face against nasty people?
Maybe I need a new lens in my spirit and mind’s “telescope”! The Warrior is Jesus; the shield is HIS faith! The Sword is the Holy Spirit, and the Victor and empowerer and King is YHWH Almighty, Olam El, Everlasting God. Does that mean I’m irrelevant? What’s my part in the battle for God’s Kingdom to come and His will to be done again, fully, on Earth as it is in Heaven? I’m thinking it’s discerning my TRUE enemy (NOT the people who bring strife into my life, but the ungodly spirits whispering and lying to them) worship, prayer, and bold kindness.
So… are you ready for a story? The latest “what is GOD up to” happened yesterday, and as usual, He started it long before. About five years ago I started going to a nearby Healing Room (http://healingrooms.com) for some prayer and insight into an emotional/spiritual battle in my life. And a disclaimer here: surrendering a year before that, and understanding what surrendering meant and why God wanted me to, would have limited the wounds I needed healing for. From time to time since then, I’ve gone again, and always God has spoken loving, caring word to me. I went again last week, and God spoke about a tangled mess of cords and said, through the intercessor, that He was patiently, capably, lovingly untangling the problem. The intercessor told me, “The Lord says,’ Don’t you worry – you’re still plugged into ME. I’m your power source! I have enough for you – even more than you know. Say My name, plead My Blood!”
Wow! God’s arm around my shoulder and His hand on my heart, faithfully.
Are you ready for more of God’s dot-to-dot? Saturday night I needed to get out of the house, so I decided to go to the Saturday evening service at the church that hosts this Healing Room. It was very informal but VERY SIMPLY YES, we KNOW God’s Spirit lives in us, so of course we expect to see His hand and power in our lives and we get “out there” and live as though it’s true. They announced prophetic prayer the next afternoon for anyone who might want some, so I signed up. Yes, call me a junkie for God’s voice and Presence! My tentative plans for later Sunday were to have dinner with my younger son, who was in town visiting some of his friends, so I signed up for a later time slot.
But on Sunday, my son texted me that his friends had dinner plans, so could we do breakfast on Monday instead. Hmm… I usually drive 85 miles south on Monday mornings to attend an amazingly anointed worship intercession group (and yes, it’s more than worth the gas and time), but this was a chance to see my son, and then up popped an email about the Monday noon hour prayer here in town, so I could do breakfast with my son and still do some intercession. His friends suggested a coffee shop in the downtown area, and I agreed. Off I went to the church, and gosh, there were more people than I expected to see there. People ARE hungry to hear God’s voice!
What I heard from the man and the young woman, Carl and Elyse, I sat down with, two total strangers, spoke directly into my life. Carrying the fragrance of Christ, and levels, Carl reported, going new places in different ways, prayer critical beforehand. Elyse smiled and said as she was writing down in her notebook what she was hearing from God, Carl had been saying the same things! The word she heard, though, was “high diver,” and she insightfully pointed out that the higher a diver dives from, the deeper the plunge, the deeper the impact. “Holy socks, God,” I thought,”you mean I’m going to go through more than I already have???!!”
Let me insert here that I’ve never jumped off any board higher than about three feet above the pool, and then I stood on the edge and bent over and did a very shallow dive. Usually I enter a pool by the steps! I avoid confrontation when at all possible, like to keep the peace, and may have an Achilles’ heel of mercy. Exploits and boldness are not natural to me, nor is diving off a high board! If I have any courage and boldness at all, it’s God’s Spirit in me, not me myself and I!
Elyse said I’d/we get to choose to respond to God’s higher and deeper or not, so the next day I hopped in my car, allowing an hour for commuter traffic, and set off to meet my son for breakfast, expecting nothing more than coffee and giving him his belated Valentine’s Day card and gifts..
The traffic on this unusually low cloud-covered day was lighter than usual due to, I suppose, the Presidents’ Day holiday. I followed my phone’s GPS, not the usual way I’d have chosen to drive downtown, when, turning up the 101 onto surprising heavy traffic, I saw a hole in the thick clouds ahead of me. Was it …no, I wasn’t dreaming … a heart-shaped hole in the swiftly moving clouds? It was! And darn my safety conscious self, I did NOT take my hand off the wheel and my eyes off the road to switch to the camera on my phone and take a picture to show you. Trust me; it WAS a heart! And it dissolved in about five minutes, but I was aimed straight at it, or I might have missed it. Thank you, Jesus, for Your directions and Your Love!
I arrived at the coffee shop twenty minutes before our scheduled time, so I got an iced green tea from the barista, Emily, at the counter. If my son’s friends hadn’t recommended the shop, and if I didn’t know they’re solid Jesus followers, I might’ve walked back out the door after I saw the painting of a winged, horned being with a pointed tongue on the back wall! God is amazing and God is pure love in the places HE leads us! I noticed, thankfully, a picture of Hong Kong harbor on the changing TV screen on the wall. Hmmm…. almost nobody else in the place, so after commenting on how much Emily must have had to learn to make all those drinks, I asked her if she’d like to hear about a miracle. She smiled and replied yes, so I told her about how God arranged nine years earlier to make the connections I needed in Hong Kong when my granddaughter started arriving eleven weeks prematurely. No kidding, I counted 21 miracles on that trip!
My son arrived, so we ordered, sat down, I gave him the photo flip book I’d made him for Valentine’s Day, along with the extra copy I had of the photo book of his niece’s early arrival (how had I thought to bring that to him this day, when I’ve had it since 2010?). When Emily brought our food, there on the table was the photo record of the miracle I’d shared with her!
Shortening this long story, after we ate, I asked Emily if she’d like a copy of the devotional book I had (happened to have two copies) in my car. She said she would, and told me she’s seeking, so I gave her a book, and she asked if I’d come back before she leaves this job for another one in a few weeks. Don’t you know I will! This was TOO GOD to be coincidence!
Off I flew to the noon hour prayer, where 50-ish of us poured out fervent prayers for our nation, our leaders, our infrastructure, our schools, our national character. High diving?On my “usual” Mondays, 25-ish of us pray for loved ones, friends, ministries, other faiths, governmental leaders, nations, and terrorist groups to come to know Jesus as Savior, as Lord of their lives and Lover of their soul. Again, high divers, andLord willing, deep impact, because noneof these 85-ish people pray for their own financial gain, fame,or easy living; what we/they pray for are the concerns of God’s passionately loving heart. Here’s what the meeting I missed prayed for: “Sharing about discernment of the enemy’s works and God’sleading us to worship and praise Him for His Sovereignty over the as He goes to battle. In our praise, pain will turn to JOY as we see Him. He will not let us go. He is LOVE and has given us Himself!”
Boy, howdy and hallelujah! God LOVES ME! GOD LOVES YOU! HE GIVE HIMSELF TO YOU A ND FILLS YOU TO BE HIS LIGHT, HEART, HAND, VOICE, COMPASSION, PRAYER VICTORY HERE! If anybody thinks this is religion talking, then you don’t know HIM! God is RELATIONSHIP, not religion!
Yes, I guess we DO dive from the high board! Lord God Almighty, Holy One, One and Only Lord Most High, yes, by YOUR power that inspires us to PRAY, may YOU FILL and cause our prayers to have deep, lasting, powerful, redeeming, delivering, life-transforming impact in lives, hearts, minds, bodies, spirits, wills, people YOU created all around the world, for their Eternity’s sake and Your Glory, Your delight, YOUR praise and pleasure and relentless Love’s sake, in Jesus’ name, amen!
IT’S ABOUT YOU, FATHER, JESUS, HOLY SPIRIT!
WHO AM I – WHO IS THIS READER – TO YOU IN THIS?
And that’s enough to throw me flat on my face on the floor in worship and awe, asking YOU to give me the courage to take a deep breath and dive as YOU make of this what YOUR HEART DESIRES!
a “…BUT…” to pray (yes, this is your most powerful weapon!):God, I may be – heck, I am – timid, scared, small, powerless in myself, BUT YOU SAY I am Yours, so fill me with Your courage and help me ____________________________________, by Your Holy Spirit, for Your glory, in Jesus’ name, amen!