The Magnetism of the Spirit

I want to be able to create – either with pen, or paint brush or clay. I want to be able to capture the beauty I see around me and share it with the entire world.   I want to be able to express the profound emotions that stir in me as I commune with Lord Jesus. I want to be able to make others understand what it is like to be a human magnet. I want, I want, I want! Why do I want these things? Because I want others to find what I have found…Lord Jesus Christ in all of His glory and majesty…right here, right now.

The past couple of days have been stellar (sorry…no other word would do!) As I set about fulfilling my normal duties and then getting out and casting my net in my own particular corner of the sea of humanity, I found some amazing things happening. There I was, intent upon sharing the love, joy and peace of Jesus Christ with anyone who might be in need. What do you suppose happened? You guessed it . . . before I ever got an opportunity to unwrap the net I was being blessed with fish trying to jump in the boat! It was as if they knew I was coming and were waiting for me to show up just so that they could be a blessing to me. I really didn’t have to do anything . . . the Lord had already arranged my days so that I could be a blessing without even trying AND so that I would be blessed without even asking.

As I contemplated what was happening in my life I remember Matthew 4:19Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” And they immediately left what they were doing and followed him.

Now, in the natural we wonder what ELSE happened to make them get up from tending their nets to follow Jesus. Surely they didn’t get up just because He said so. But in light of my experiences of the past couple of days I would say that there is a magnetic pull in Christ’s Spirit that draws people just as the disciples and other believers were drawn to Jesus. Such a force is undeniable and thoroughly genuine. Those who pass within the sphere of influence are drawn … whether into conversation or simply into following along and joining in service. How exhilarating!

Yet even as I bathed in the light and glory of those precious moments I was aware that there is a definite down side to having such a force surrounding you and living within you. I can see how easily we might become proud and boastful, arrogant and supercilious with such power. I can see where it would be easy to fall and how someone in whom the Holy Spirit is moving with magnetism might fall into sin as people are drawn to them and fawn over them without understanding it is the Holy Spirit and not the human who is doing the drawing. Imagine a man (or woman) with such magnetism drawing the opposite sex and falling to the demon of lust — I can just see it playing out before me as the carrier of the magnetism becomes prideful, thinking how wonderful and special they must be and therefore deserving of all the attention and adoration. SIN IS JUST A HEARTBEAT AWAY!

So even as I experienced a wonderful outpouring of the Holy Spirit I am cautious and ever conscious of WHO is doing the drawing and WHY He is doing it. . .so that souls might be saved for His glory.

Something else also became very clear to me as I experienced the drawing . . . it is so easy to judge others who have fallen. As I sensed how easy it would be to fall when blessed with such an anointing I also repented for having passed judgment on those who had fallen in the past and also who are still operating ministries in a fallen state. I have decided to leave that to God. No one knows what goes on in another’s heart. I think I can offer grace while steering clear of the ministries. I know of a certain that I could fall at any moment and must guard my heart and mind against it with constant prayer and worship. And my heart aches for those who have fallen under the spell of the deceptiveness of human adoration only to fall to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.  May God have mercy.

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The Lord’s Battleaxe

Peace. Solitude. Silence. Contentment. Serenity.

I am sitting in my ‘prayer closet’ this morning just basking in the wonder of His presence. I find Him here whenever I sit in this chair, whatever time of day, no matter what else is going on. This morning I am just soaking in His presence, breathing in the very essence of who He is. No prayers going up, no great needs to bombard the heavens – just the joy and contentment of being His and having time for just we two. Oh how I love these moments. There really is nothing like belonging to the King of Kings and having Him for your very own.

As I sit here I am aware that just outside of my sphere of Holy Ground there is a battle raging. I sense, rather than see, great raging beings swinging flails and shooting arrows in my direction. The weapons seem to strike an invisible shield and again I sense, rather than see, the sparks fly and the rage increase.

How fanciful! Oh, little child, no fancy here! The battle does indeed rage around you and you are protected from all harm because you have chosen the path of obedience. Your obedience has wrought great victory in the Kingdom and the enemy of your soul rages and beats his chest but cannot harm you. Like a roaring, toothless, aged lion he creeps around you trying to change your direction. He cannot.

Such peace. I am hidden in the cleft of the rock this morning, beneath the shadow of His wing, and I am safe. I do not concern myself with what is happening in the spiritual arena because I know the Victor and I am one with Him. With just a word I send the enemy scattering. With my worship the enemy flees and I sense that he is waiting on a rooftop not far away – waiting for an opportunity to strike when my guard is down.

I do not fear. Were he walking in my house I would not fear. He has no power or authority over my life. I am the Lord’s battle-axe. I have been given all power and authority over the enemy and with the help of the Holy Spirit I have been practicing exercising that power and authority. I am seeing miracles in response to my words. People whom I thought were in authority over me are submitting to my words, spoken softly in truth and love. The Victor lives in me and with His power and authority I am taking a stand against evil wherever I see it and whenever I encounter it – and I am victorious!

What an interesting walk I am having with Jesus! Just this past weekend I met a pastor from Wales and when I told him my name he looked momentarily confused and shaking his head slowly, he said “No, it’s Victoria, isn’t it? Maybe I just think that because you are victorious.”   How prophetic is that?

Dear, sweet children of God: the battle does indeed rage around you but you are the victor because you belong to the Victor. The battle belongs to the Lord – let Him fight for you and through you. Relax in His great love, rest in His mighty arms, and wait for His command. When you are obedient to His command you cannot fail – your victory is assured! My prayer for you today is victory – and the peace and joy that come with it!

2 Chronicles 20:15  …..Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

Divine Love

I am often amazed at the simplest of things — a butterfly sitting on a flower, a baby discovering colors, sunsets, clouds, the changing colors of fall — and each time, I am also reminded with awe of the masterful Creator of all.

I am not a scholar of the Bible or anything else, for that matter.  Though I hold a Master’s in Theology, all it has really shown me is how little I know about God and how much more I need to know.

For instance, human beings are such finite individuals.  We see time as a linear thing and the circumstances of our lives as either problems to be dealt with or moments to savor.  But GOD . . .

If we could view time and circumstances as God does, I believe we would be looking at innumerable intersecting holograms.  My life-hologram intersecting with your life-hologram, and God able to see all of the intersecting points at one time and able to change them at will if necessary to meet His plans and purposes.  I believe He sees Noah’s hologram while He is looking at yours and mine.  They are all overlaying one another with the ultimate end being His goals, not ours.

Something else I think we fail to understand is that each life-hologram is important to the complete picture.  There are blank spaces where holograms should be, where babies were aborted and their life-hologram was removed.  Could God have stopped the abortions?  Yes, of course, and I believe He tried with each and every one.  We are a stubborn people and we often close our eyes and ears to the things of God, including the nudging of His Holy Spirit to do what is right — to turn away from evil and cruelty.  One thing is certain — God is still God.  He hasn’t changed His mind and He hasn’t forgotten His promises and He isn’t going to force anyone to do anything.  He is a gentleman, and He leaves the forcing to the bullies like satan and his emissaries.  What kind of love does that?

Divine Love.  The kind of love that lets you and I choose what to make of our lives.  The kind of love that moves an intersection point when we have made a choice that is going to take us the long-way-around to our ultimate goal – the goal He has placed in front of us.  So He moves the point and we reach the divine appointment in 15 years instead of 15 days or months because we have stubbornly, blindly, deafly, chosen to pursue our own selfish ends instead of His divine purposes.  Still He loves.

Divine Love.  The kind of love that gives you goosebumps and atta-boys when you finally reach that intersection point.  Sometimes your whole world seems to ’tilt’ for a moment as you once again are on the right track and your life-hologram aligns with His divine plan once more.

Divine Love.  The kind that stays right beside you while you dabble in the occult, watch movies and television shows not fit for anyone, get drunk, gamble, curse your parents or spouse or children, choose yourself over any and everyone else, ignore the lost, broken, widowed and orphaned.  Still He loves.

Divine Love.  The kind that tries to shield you from harm but won’t interfere if you insist on doing things your way.  He holds your hand through it all and still He loves.

Divine Love.  The kind that hung on a cross and poured out every last drop of blood to cover every last sin any of us could ever commit.  Still He loves.

Divine Love.  The kind that lets us enjoy sunsets and sunrises and laughter and love without demanding that we acknowledge who provides it all.  The kind that stays right there with us and enjoys it too!

Praying that as your life intersects with others today you will be more aware of the divine nature of those appointments and more deliberate in your actions and reactions.  Share His love — Divine Love.

John 3:16    For God so loved the world……

 

Healing Rain

We are experiencing gentle showers today and are they ever needed! The ground has become so dry and hard that the first raindrops just rolled off into the nearest ditch and on down the road. But it has been raining for several hours now and the rain water is soaking into the ground – or perhaps I should say that the ground has decided to drink it in! Gentle rain, soothing rain, refreshing rain, healing rain.

As the rain hits the ground, the ground begins to respond. First, in consternation as the rain runs off, and then in delight, as the ground embraces the much needed water. Saturation point is a long way off and the ground continues to soak up the water like a sponge long left unused and now exposed to life-giving water. This is the best kind of rain – no heavy downpour to flood streets and wash away crops. This rain is nourishing and revitalizing. It is, without a doubt, healing rain.

I have been blessed many times in my life to experience the healing rain that comes from the Holy Spirit. Many times I have needed a refreshing for my soul and God has never left me abandoned in my need. He has always sent healing rains. Sometimes it would pour down so heavily I couldn’t stand. And sometimes, like the rain we are experiencing today, it would come down gently and steadily for hours upon hours, refreshing and refilling my soul.

I was blessed to experience just such a supernatural rain this past weekend, and to have it followed today with the same kind of rain in the natural is another gift from God – an opportunity to see Him working in both realms at the same time. Truly His love is amazing and boundless.

My need for healing rain is almost a daily occurrence as I am walking a tightrope in the supernatural and the natural realm, waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. Yet God, always faithful, continues to lead and guide me, and as long as I lean into Him and away from my natural inclinations, the situations and circumstances seem to be changing and shifting to my benefit. The trick for me is to remain leaning into Him and not on my own understanding and natural tendencies to take control and do everything ‘my way’.

Healing rain……with each drop peace is restored to my soul and I am able to rest in His embrace, awaiting His next command. And with each drop, I begin to bloom right where I am planted. The circumstance cannot steal the peace that comes from healing rain. Angry people and volatile situations cannot steal the peace that comes from healing rain. Though some might strive to pluck the bloom from this rose, healing rain allows other buds to blossom and beautiful fragrance to be released. Healing rain……

Praying that you will be able to take a few minutes today to sit back in the Master’s arms and let Him wash you with His healing rain…..

 

Zechariah 10:1 King James Version (KJV)

Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.

Rest

The battlegrounds of our lives are littered with shrapnel from exploding shells and bombs that were meant to destroy us.  We often rage against the battle, but even the most naïve of us knows that we cannot stop fighting.  We fight long and hard, and sometimes we get a slight reprieve — a little R&R (rest and relaxation) when the battle wanes for a bit only to pick up stronger and fiercer when our batteries have been recharged.  Eventually, the battle will be over, won (or sometimes, lost) and the enemy withdraws — for now, anyway.  As the smoke clears, we begin to see the rubble and waste of our battleground.  We are stronger now, and wiser, and we turn our backs on that battleground, fixing our eyes on the green hills ahead and move forward.

Today I am surveying the wasteland of a fierce battle, resting in the Lord and trusting Him to lead me on.  Unfortunately for me, there are no green hills ahead of me right now.  Though the battle I have fought for two years is finally over and I am victorious, there is another battle that is about to commence.  This time I know it is coming.  This time I won’t be overcome by shock and surprise.  THIS time, I am going in fully armed and knowledgeable and I AM TAKING NO PRISONERS.  I want the victory, and I mean to have it, no matter the cost.

But right now, I am resting.  The Lord has graciously granted me this lull between battles so that I can regain my strength.  And as I survey the wreckage of the battle just finished I gain strength.  I realize that the battle, though intense to the point that I thought I would perish, has made me a hardened soldier.  My face is set like flint and I can feel every spiritual muscle flex slightly in anticipation of the battle to come.

The battle (no matter what it is) belongs to the Lord.  Not only that, He is the victor, always!  Our job is to fight when He commands, withdraw when He commands, REST when HE commands and follow His lead, no matter what.  When we do we can be assured of the victory — even if our eyes tell us something else entirely!  The battle is not over until HE says it is over and since he never loses we simply have to hold on and wait for HIM to reveal the ultimate victory.

So I am in stand-down mode, leaning into the loving arms of the Savior, resting in His sweet embrace, knowing that what is coming is going to be ugly and vicious and demoralizing BUT not defeating.  Thank you Lord for the battles that teach us to war.

Isaiah 50:7  For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

Good Morning

Good morning! My heart sings good morning even as I face a day with too much scheduled and telephone texting and calls starting EARLY this morning. My heart sings…..how awesome is that! Good morning to sunshine and grasshoppers and falling leaves and disgruntled neighbors. Good morning to dirty laundry and disgusting bathrooms. Good morning wrinkles. Good morning sags. Good morning, good morning, good morning!

Good morning, Lord – my very heart. How you bless me with your presence in my sleep, in my dreams and in my waking! Good morning beloved – how sweet are your songs and the light tingle of your touch. Good morning my friend – precious is your companionship and wise counsel. Good morning my husband – such peace in knowing your protection and provision.

I rejoice this morning not because of anything the Lord has done but because of who He is and who He has become in my life. My heart sings because I know the one who created the song. My smile is wide because I cannot contain such joy or keep it to myself. I am excited because even though my day is filled with chores it is also filled with appointments outside the house that will give me opportunities to let the love, peace and joy overflow into other lives.

Keeping my focus on Him makes the world and its troubles pass away and I am wrapped in the peace that passes all understanding, the joy unspeakable and full of glory, and the love unconditional and full of mercy. What a mighty God we serve!

Even when I am feeling so elated to belong to Him I can’t help but think of those who don’t. I know His heart mourns for those who struggle to put one foot in front of the other; for those who don’t know what true love is; for those who are seeking fulfilment in this life but have yet to turn to Him; for all who are lost in the sea of despair and darkness of sin. And so, because His heart mourns, my heart mourns, even as it rejoices in being His. I sense His pain and sorrow. His tears drop from my eyes.

It isn’t enough to belong to Him – now I must help others find Him. My heart’s cry is for the lost, wounded, hurting victims of abuse in all of its forms. My desire, like His, is to see them all healed. There is nothing I can do to make that happen except to share Him – to introduce them to Him and invite them to let Him be the Great Physician and Wonderful Counselor in their lives just as He has been in mine.

So today as I go about town I am taking His love with me. I pray it will be enough to draw someone else into the fold of His unconditional love.

Isaiah 43:1-4  But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.

Bruised Reed

Every moment of every day I am aware of the years of abuse.  Deep, dark recesses of my mind that have hidden away the details are also constantly nagging.  There is a part of me that believes there can never be any safety or any happiness in this life.  That part has gone into hiding and only emerges when the stresses and pressures and fears of the moment become so overwhelming that it must make itself heard.  It emerges in my dreams — vivid dreams that, when interpreted, tell the truth of my inner fears of being forced back into an abusive relationship somehow.

Yet I dwell in peace — a peace that passes all understanding.  There are moments when the clouds threaten to engulf me once again but I have grown quite adept at pushing them away and rejoicing in the healing that has taken place in my soul.

There really is only one way to be whole and that is by letting Jesus in and asking Him to heal that which has been broken and bruised and crushed under the heel of man.  When I asked the Lord to put the fragmented pieces of my soul back together again, I didn’t even know what that would look like.  I had been shattered for so long that I didn’t remember what it was to be whole.  I had spent years being ostracized and criticized and humiliated by co-workers and acquaintances who did not know my circumstance and consequently could not understand my behavior.  I had refused to talk to strangers and scurried like a scared rabbit whenever I was confronted with unfamiliar situations, people, or surroundings.

Six months ago I asked the Lord to put the shattered pieces of my soul back together again and to remove the walls and partitions I had erected between me and others.  I am amazed at what the Lord did in me.  Just six short months later and I don’t even recognize myself sometimes!  What was once a timid, reserved, introverted, anti-social creature has broken out of her cocoon to become outgoing and friendly and unafraid — of anyone!  Where I once dreaded each day I now awake with a song in my heart and joyful praise on my lips.  I am a new creature — or perhaps, I am simply the woman I was destined to be before the abusers tore me down and crushed my spirit.  Whichever it is, I can honestly say that my vocabulary is inadequate to express the gratitude I feel for what the Lord has done in me.

There are still battles to fight and victories to be won.  Yet I dwell in peace because I know the Victor and He has shown Himself faithful in all things.  I can walk through the next storm with my head up and a smile on my face because no matter what the circumstance, the battle belongs to the Lord and HE NEVER LOSES!

In the midst of every storm I am there.   I hold your hand, I steady your walk.  I am, indeed, the victor.  If you want to win all of your battles you must rely on Me at all times.  Lean into me in the darkest moments.  No matter what it may look like to your eyes, know that I see an entirely different picture and I am making even this very crooked way straight and this path smooth for you.  Hold my hand.  Do not let go.  Do not turn your eyes to the circumstance.  Keep your eyes on me and follow in my footsteps.  Together we will win.  I love you and I will never let you go.  Don’t look down.  Don’t look around.  Keep your eyes on me!”

Deuteronomy 31:6 New King James Version (NKJV)

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.

Storm Warning

The wind is whipping around the neighborhood today as if it were the middle of winter.  In truth, the weather is perfect except that we are braced for a tropical storm that looks like a no-show.  Like all of those in our area, I spent yesterday preparing for the worst — stocking supplies, preparing the emergency evacuation package, storing anything that was out of doors that might blow around or be tossed through windows.  And then, secure in the knowledge that I had done all I could, I went to bed and slept like a baby.

Now, at almost four in the afternoon, I’m feeling slightly betrayed by the weather.  True, it is windy.  But that’s all.  The sun is shining and the temperature outside is 76 degrees.  There is little to no humidity, and it feels like a perfect Indian-summer day.  And then it hit me — this is exactly what I had prayed for this morning.  I wanted the storm to go around us.  I wanted God to move this mountain away from us so that we would not suffer property damage of injury of any kind to ourselves or our neighbors.  WHOA!

God is amazing.  I am awed by His infinite mercy and grace.  Don’t get me wrong: I have not deluded myself into believing that I’m the only person who prayed for this storm to miss us.  Nevertheless, I am amazed at His faithfulness.  Even if I hadn’t prayed this morning, and the storm had passed by, I would have been filled with awe and wonder and gratitude for His divine intervention in the affairs of mankind.  How sweet is our God!

The events of the past two days rang another bell in my spirit.  This is exactly how I prepare when one of life’s storms comes upon me — storms of death or illness, financial loss, relationship losses:  I do what I can do, then I pray and let God be G-D!  I have weathered some truly black skies and horrendous winds in my life, but God has never let me down.  I have a friend in the middle of a horrendous battle right now and it looks really bad.  If she were to rely on her five senses she would be fearful and worried.  But she doesn’t, because she knows who she is and whose she is.  She trusts God to show up and take care of the situation, no matter how black those clouds are or how much wind is swirling around her — she knows Him and she knows He won’t let her down — not now, not ever.

God is ready, willing, and able to win any battle in our lives.  He knows what is best for us.  He knows what our future holds.  He isn’t surprised by our circumstances and He knows that when we come out on the other side, we will bring Him glory.

Does He always give us our way?  No, of course not.  Do you always give your children their way?  What parent would?  Parents know what is best for their children, and sometimes it is best for them to walk through the storm.  We learn so much while we are there.  And on the other side of the storm, we discover we have gained valuable insight and wisdom to help others make it through their storms.

God is good.  God is just.  God is faithful.  God is love.  And all He asks of us is to love Him in return and trust Him with the storms in our lives.  How can we not love such a God?

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.