As you know (at least if you have been reading my blog for any amount of time) God seems to speak to me in themes… key words or phrases that are on repeat. Lately, the theme is “where you go I go, what you pray I pray”. While this discussion could go many directions, I was ever so fortunate, to receive a vision from God on this one. Truly, a beautiful vision.
We visited a church this past Sunday of some friends we hadn’t seen in a while. It’s always nice to see people you haven’t seen in a while. During the worship portion, I just decided to close my eyes and see where God would take me. (I encourage you after reading this to close your eyes for a moment and try to envision this yourself!) I saw Jesus in a white robe. He wasn’t facing directly toward me but instead turned to my right about 45 degrees. Rays of sunlight were shining from behind Him, following to be in front of Him. Imagine a forest of trees with rays of light piercing through – same idea. The arms of His robe hung much lower than His actual arm. He stood without a hood of any sort, bearded with dark hair, and His chin slightly lifted up. He had this “smirk” on His face mixed with a smile. His eyes were closed. He looked content if I had to place a word to describe it. All of a sudden, the vision changed. The rays of sunlight stayed exactly the same. The angle of 45 degrees stayed exactly the same. Jesus’ became a wooden cross. The cross was simple, not ornate at all. It was three-dimensional and just standing in mid-air (or so it seemed). Nothing hung on it, it was clean, almost like it had just been built.
“Holy cow…” I thought to my self. The Holy Spirit began to flood my mind with thoughts. Let me sum this up for you:
When we truly “go where I go” or “say what I say” (meaning us to Jesus) then that means just that. Jesus went to the cross. We should follow, by taking up our crosses daily. And we should say the things He said which includes forgiveness. Even some of His last words on the cross stated “forgive them, for they know now what they do”. A man who was in agony – who could have easily been bitter – still showed mercy. Shouldn’t we? Jesus fed the hungry. Shouldn’t we? Jesus never gave in to gossip. Shouldn’t we not give into gossip? You see the point, the list is endless.
We should all strive to live at the level of the cross. Because if we ever had to actually go thought the process of being crucified at the cross, I bet we would never forget it again.
How many times have we heard it said, if you fall of the horse, you have to get back on. This is for lots of reasons – to keep fear at bay – to face fear head on – to try again and again and again. It doesn’t matter if it’s a diet, not drinking alcohol, an exercise regime, prayer time, not being so OCD, starting college, not giving into temptation, all of them are scary and all of us will fail at at least one of them at one point in time in our lives. What separates the winners from the losers, doing it again. If you have a weak moment, think it through. Why did you give in? A person? A desire? To be popular? Personal gain? If you can pinpoint the WHY then you can figure out the HOW. We can’t figure out how to stop something if we don’t know why we are doing it. Sometimes, it’s a human thing. You want to be popular so you lower your standards to fit into that crowd. Doesn’t get you anywhere down the road, but for now, you are satisfied. Until the next time… And Sometimes, it’s just the devil. He has a funny way of putting things into “perspective” doesn’t he? He makes you think you need to do something, pushes that internal urge until you succumb to it. Then comes the conviction. That feeling in the pit of your stomach where you feel so wretched for what you did. It doesn’t matter how many times you say, “sorry God”, you still feel horrible. Conviction isn’t a bad thing, condemnation however, is. We have to get to a point where we can “get back on” when God forgives us. There is no sense in punishing yourself for something God has already cleared you of. That’s like a judge saying you are innocent of murder, but you throw yourself in jail anyways. Really? Sorry, but that is stupid! haha
So live tomorrow with your lessons learned behind you, and your new faith filled adventures in front of you. Even when we mess up, someone who is truly a child of the Lord, will still be blessed and given favor. I messed up recently. (Sorry, you don’t get the details on this one! 🙂 ) And God still showed me tremendous favor just a few days later. It’s because He knows my heart. Does He know your heart? Or let me ask you a better question… do you know your heart? What you stand for? What you will say no to? How far down will you allow yourself to go before you make that change – and begin living less for you and more for HIM!?!
Everyone wants freedom, but not everyone will surrender. I journal everything God tells me. Every once in a while I like to review what He has said for common themes. For a while, everything He spoke to me was about David and Joseph in the Bible. For where I was in that time – as usual – God was right on time. Recently, I went through and had a review session. Common theme? Freedom and surrender. This past Sunday, as I was onstage leading worship, we were in a moment of selah. I had my eyes closed and my head down. As I opened my eyes and lifted my head I looked out over the congregation and the Holy Spirit spoke clear as day to me… To have freedom, you have to surrender. Which makes sense. If we want FREEDOM, then we have to SURRENDER. If we want freedom from addiction, you have to lay whatever it is down. You have to surrender it. Freedom is an amazing experience if we can get there. My personal passion is for people to find their own personal freedom in worship. What do I mean by this… to be able to lift their hands, dance, get on their knees, even lay face down if they chose to in corporate and private worship. I am by no means saying this is how you HAVE to worship like this; however, I am saying people should have the ability to worship in a manner that is fitting for them and biblical. My personal passion is for people to overcome the thoughts like, “everyone is looking at me” or “what will others think”.
How many times do we find ourselves struggling to stay afloat, like we are being pulled down by weights tied to our ankles in an ocean. Gasping for what little air we can get every time we barely get our mouths above the water. But it doesn’t have to be like this. If we surrender to Jesus the things that are weighing us down, we can stay afloat easier. This doesn’t mean tidal waves won’t come and try to push us over, but it does mean we can float through it!
Consider where you are in life, take a moment. Maybe it’s time to let things go and surrender your life to Jesus. Or maybe, you believe in Him, you just forgot you can give Him all those things weighing you down. Then… you will find the freedom you have been searching for.
New International Version (NIV)
22 Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
I went for a walk today on my lunch break. The area I work in is full of trees and greenery so it was actually a beautiful walk. I had my headphones in and as I walked, I looked up and saw this bright vibrant blue sky contrasting with green trees overhanging. The song “No Limits” by Israel Houghton came on my playlist. In that moment, it was like a movie soundtrack God was playing right before my very eyes. I could feel the words full of strength and power as God’s way of reminding me NOTHING can stand in our way when our desires are His desires. I have this thing I want to accomplish and I feel like it’s at a stand still along with other things to say the least. But now, I am refreshed and focused on knowing that I can “take the limits off” simply by seeking Him. When you have things that seem locked – the key is with Him. Pray, seek His word and He can give you a key to unlock ANYTHING. The lyrics of this song say:
No limits. No boundaries. I see increase all around me.
Stretch forth. Break forth. Release me. Enlarge my territories.
This is EXACTLY how I feel right now. Asking for no limits and enlarging territories comes with a price and high expectations, more challenges and a need for even more discipline. But I am willing! I want it! I’m ready for what God has in store for me. I challenge you to hit play on the video below – close your eyes – and let the Holy Spirit take you somewhere. See what God has to show you!
Dream big and when you feel like you’re stuck… get a key… and open a new door!
Some things to remember:
8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.