Cultivating awe

As 2014 draws to the close, I will share a few posts about some of my year.

Cultivating Awe.
This in a way sums up 2014 for me… or rather what has been one of the major impacts this year.

One aspect of God is His father-heart. A place of love and intimacy. It is vital to know Him as our father. I’ve written and spoken on this many times.

Yet, there is also another aspect of God’s nature. Where we tremble at His glorious greatness. And in this season, I’ve been seeking to know Him more, in this gloriousness.

God is The Great I Am. He IS majestic. All powerful. He IS holy. He is splendor, He is beauty. He is overwhelmingly good, faithful, loving, generous, …. you get my drift.  He is my God and I love to be in His presence.

This year I have begun to more purposefully seek to know Him in His might and  ‘glorious-ness’. My soaking / waiting-on-God times changed. I turned off the worship music, and began to just sit. In Awe. To see Him in His vastness. In His greatness. To sit revelling in who He is. In wonder.

And it’s impact has been powerful.  It flushes out ego… removes the who-I-am nature.  It builds discernment.  It is resting in Him. Waiting on Him. Faith increases. The atmosphere of the miraculous. Of the supernatural. Of being caught up in the Spirit.

As in the book of Revelation… the living creatures in the presence of God encounter His majesty and purity… the cry is “Holy, holy, holy,  Lord God Almighty” Rev 4:8

Our greatest days

Our greatest days are upon us.

Holy Spirit spoke this to me recently and I cannot shake it or dismiss it. ‘Upon us.’ To me, that means no longer ahead, in the future, a dream being dreamed, – but now. Right now. In other words, they have begun!

Nothing may ‘look’ different yet. And seeing what is happening in the world, in the news, on facebook feeds, in conversations, looking at the sorrows many are facing, perhaps this statement seems out of place. For some, it may feel far from what is being currently experienced. And I don’t want to minimise struggles, pain and challenges, but I maintain that our greatest days have in fact begun.

I believe it’s right on point. These are days initiated from God’s heart. We have entered into something new. He is revealing Himself. His glory. His splendour. His power. His righteousness. His mercy. His grace. He is showing that He is God.

Here are a few verses that have been highlighted to me. They seem like a big chunk written here, but so much is in this Psalm that I’m drinking in, that I’ve given you the whole Psalm. It’s a good one to speak out loud. To declare and release!

Psalm 65 -Amplified version

 To You belongs silence (the submissive wonder of reverence which bursts forth into praise) and praise is due and fitting to You, O God, in Zion; and to You shall the vow be performed. O You Who hear prayer, to You shall all flesh come. Iniquities and much varied guilt prevail against me; [yet] as for our transgressions, You forgive and purge them away [make atonement for them and cover them out of Your sight]! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You choose and cause to come near, that he may dwell in Your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple. By fearful and glorious things [that terrify the wicked but make the godly sing praises] do You answer us in righteousness (rightness and justice), O God of our salvation, You Who are the confidence and hope of all the ends of the earth and of those far off on the seas; Who by [Your] might have founded the mountains, being girded with power, Who still the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples, So that those who dwell in earth’s farthest parts are afraid of [nature’s] signs of Your presence. You make the places where morning and evening have birth to shout for joy. You visit the earth and saturate it with water; You greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; You provide them with grain when You have so prepared the earth. You water the field’s furrows abundantly, You settle the ridges of it; You make the soil soft with showers, blessing the sprouting of its vegetation. You crown the year with Your bounty and goodness, and the tracks of Your [chariot wheels] drip with fatness. The [luxuriant] pastures in the uncultivated country drip [with moisture], and the hills gird themselves with joy. The meadows are clothed with flocks, the valleys also are covered with grain; they shout for joy and sing together.

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Just a couple of comments that I will make at this time, on the above passage:

Silence and awe. I have written about this previously. Awe has a lot to do with these great days. Being in awe of God. I have been building this more and more into my daily life. Taking time out to be in silence and cultivating that place of reverential awe. The more time I spend like this, the hungrier I get to spend even more time with Him. ( Balancing this with family, work, and other life factors is a whole different post!).

Bounty. God is bounty. Overwhelming giver of goodness, love, faithfulness, power, freedom, peace, resources, revelation, His Spirit, …… These days we will be experiencing His bounty because that is who He is.

And in the words of Misty Edwards’ song ‘Baptize my heart’ …
I don’t won’t to be offended when it’s all coming down’…

That is one of my prayers. That as we move into what God is doing, as He reveals Himself more , as His supernatural heavenly realm manifests more prevalently,  I pray that I will discern Him, recognise Him, and not be offended by Him .

As we stand in awe of Him, and are overwhelmed by His love: Discernment increases. Revelation increases. Compassion increases. His light is reflected from us, causing those around us to come out of darkness.

Yes, our greatest days are upon us. Selah.

Courageous One.

Last month Liberty Christian Church ran an annual women’s event. I say event , because unlike a conference with teaching/preaching, and structured session times, this is more of a contemplative, meditational, soaking, intimate time with the Lord.

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The auditorium was divided spectacularly into smaller ‘rooms’ and various other spaces were commandeered, and all were designed with their own theme.

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One moved from room to room, spending time in God’s presence and being ministered to, at one’s own pace.

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I spent the morning helping on the prophetic team where we wrote or could draw prophetic art for the woman seated in front of us.

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Courage

A few days prior to this event, I wanted to spend some time in prayer, asking God for words for people. I was not expecting what He said. I hadn’t even ‘organised’ myself yet..
I was passing through my bedroom to get my bible when the Holy Spirit spoke ‘courage’ and simultaneously the gift of faith was released, just as if I was preparing a message . In that split second, I knew He had downloaded the word he wanted me to bring to each woman that would come to my table . It would be how He was going to minister to each of them. 

Courage.

Many times throughout scripture both in the old and new testaments, God is speaking about courage. He is speaking ‘Take Courage’. Be strong. Be confident. Do not be afraid.

I love how He speaks in Psalm 31 about letting your heart take courage. Giving yourself permission to be courageous.

And in Matthew 14:27….
Take Courage! I Am!

I love that . He is the Great I Am. He is God.

And I love how it is written of Jehoshaphat, regarding the Lord establishing the kingdom in his hand, that ‘his heart was cheered and his courage was high in the ways of the Lord’.     2 Chron 17:6

These are just a few of the scriptures that were brought to my mind for different women.

Maybe, one of these scriptures stands out to you. Or maybe courage is what you are needing right now.

Be strong and courageous, and do it. Fear not, be not dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, is with you….. 1 Chron 28:20

Take the courage He is giving right now. Receive Jesus’ strength, Jesus’ courage, Jesus’ confidence.

Note.. All pictures on this post have come from Liberty’s Facebook page. Someone else’s camera worked far better than mine:)

Door opening

Door opening.

This is something that I have been pondering on for sometime now.

Are you a door opener?

Okay, let’s backtrack bit.

Firstly I want to say that, yes, absolutely, God is the ultimate ‘door opener’. Seasons are in His hand. He has crafted each one of us, and His hand is on each one of you. He knows what is in your heart, the plans and purposes, the dreams and visions.

And I think that yes, many of you will agree that you have been in a season of being hidden in Him. And for some of you that season has been long, for some it has been challenging, for some, you have all but given up.

So what happens when the season begins to change?

You see, I look across New Zealand, and I feel the season is beginning to change. I think of folk with God’s anointed messages in their hearts, business plans in their dreams, songs on paper,  prophetic words in their journals, hidden, not yet released. And I am beginning to feel a stirring.

Now, I love to sit under well known ministries. The fore-runners – with the impartations, the faith building stories, the anointings, the revelations, the wisdom, the teaching. Come on! That is all good.

But, the stirring I feel tells me, that there are anointings, revelations, teaching, prophetic messages, music, etc that God is wanting to begin to release in New Zealand , that right now are hidden in homes, churches, towns, marae, across this nation.

So let’s begin to think as door openers. Because God always works in partnership with us doesn’t He?!

We pray for open doors, we declare doors to be open, we look for open doors, we are ready to receive open doors. And that is all good. The keys of the kingdom being released. But, who is doing the opening? (Remembering that I said although God is ultimate door opener, He uses His people). If all we are doing is looking for doors to be opened, then there is a problem… and will be a problem.

Some may call it being a releaser, or raising up the next generation… but I see it as more broad than that. A door opener carries the heart of a giver, of an encourager, of a visionary, a supporter. It is not aged based.

It is seeing what God has created in someone, and providing space , resources, an open avenue, opportunity,   for that person.

Remember in Galations, where it is written of Paul, that due to his revelation, he decided to double check with others that he was on the right track..

  and when James and Cephas and John, …, perceived the grace that was given to me… (ESVST) Galations 2:9

They perceived the grace on him. As door openers we need to perceive God’s grace on others. Just because someone’s revelation, gifts, skills, call maybe radically different, we can still open doors for them, or accept them as the people who God leads through the door we opened.

So,

Who is in your sphere? Who do you know that you can open a door for?

Or what doors can you open, and see who God leads through?

Remember the 11 disciples deciding to cast lots to see who would replace Judas? They opened a door, and God lead Matthias through.

Let’s be door openers and look for opportunities to release the giftings and dreams of the folks around us.

Quietly contemplating humility

If you happen to be a tramper, bushwalker, hiker in northern New Zealand, then undoubtedly you have heard of kauri dieback disease. A fungal infection killing off the beautiful ancient kauri trees, and destroying our forests. Some tracks have now been closed. We are no longer able to enjoy those places and sites. In other areas, before entering a track, one must cross the ‘disinfectant zone’. Boots are scrubbed and sprayed to cover them in disinfectant before entering or exiting a track, to aid in the long term future of those trees.

What’s this got to do with humility?

Allegory.

Because I have been contemplating humility. Yes, that’s correct. Humility.

The way I picture it, we are on a journey discovering God and His kingdom, discovering His glory, we have a future of greater intimacy with Him, of encounters, visitations, being caught up in the Spirit.. and seeing Him minister to the folks around us. It is a beautiful journey, the most stunning scenery, – even if the track gets a bit bumpy from time to time!

And I can see that, for this journey to continue, for greater clarity, for experiencing more of Him, I need to pause at the ‘disinfectant zone’. That is, I am pausing this past week or two, at the vital place of humility.
Contemplating the necessity of humility. How I need it to be increased in my life.

I see how Jesus, when He was on earth as The Son of Man, walked in, lived in, ministered in humility. He is humility.

For us to experience more of the supernatural power of God, to minister out of encounters, to love furiously, consistently, long-term, I am struck by how great a part humility plays in this. 

1 Peter 5 says we are to clothe ourselves in humility.

Col 3:12 speaks of ‘putting on’ humility (along with kindness, meekness ..).

Romans 13:14 Paul writes about ‘putting on Jesus’ the ‘armor of light’.

See that? Putting on – clothing ourselves with Christ. Clothing ourselves with His attributes, that He appears to others through us.

We are to be humble. 1 Peter 5. God looks upon the lowly. Gives grace to the humble. 

Because we are earthen vessels, (yes loved, redemmed, seated with Christ, alive in Him), but still earthen vessels that He has chosen to place His treasure inside, we in our own strength, our own efforts , cannot walk in true humility. We need Jesus’ humility. We need Jesus. To be clothed in Him.
Downloaded with His humility.

As we humble ourselves, allowing and receiving Jesus to clothe us, His grace comes. (Remember: He gives grace to the humble).

I am loving Strong’s description of grace (charis)….

‘Especially the divine influence upon the heart, and it’s reflection in the life’

How awesome is that. How powerful. His Divine influence upon our hearts. His transforming power, His character upon our hearts. And it’s reflection.. wow. To reflect the Divine, that people see Jesus and not ourselves. That people encounter Jesus …

Clothe me with Your humility Jesus.

Prophetic dream regarding the children.

Thursday morning I woke from a dream. I woke exhausted, as if I had worked hard all night.

I dreamt of a child I know. She is eight years old, and the daughter of a friend. I haven’t seen her much in the last few years, not as much as I did in her baby/ toddler phase when our worlds connected more regularly.

In my dream, she was an adult, and she was in labour, about to give birth. I was her support person, encouaging her through the pain, rubbing her back, and reassuring her.

The dream felt it went on for hours, as though I dreamt her labour in real time.

After I woke, God unfolded what He was saying. This 8yr old girl was a symbol of her generation. Children now, but once they reach adulthood, God is going to birth something through them. And I (along with many of you), will be supporting them, encouraging them, mentoring them, as the Lord moves.

Awesome!

 

This year I am…

Sitting. Listening. That is what I am doing this year.

Isaiah 55:3 KJV

Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

Hear. That’s the word right there.

Psalms 46:10 KJV
Be still, and know that I am God

I want to be intentional in being silent before God. Waiting. Listening. In a much greater way than I have before. Not to replace worshipping Him, reading the Bible, praying etc, …I love my time with the Lord,…but in addition.

Because I believe there is more intimacy, more revelation, more discernment, more wisdom, more glory, more holiness, more goodness, more faith for the miraculous, in that quiet place.

And I for one, need more of all of the above!

Be still, and know that I am God has reverberated within me for over a year.

Recently I read of a conversation that  took place with Freda Lindsay. Here is an excerpt from the book The Panoramic Seer: Bring the Prophetic into the Healing Anointing by James Maloney

I was honored to be seated at a table next to her for lunch one day, and we were talking about all the many well-known healing ministers she had known for over half a century—which was just about all of them. She had put a pertinent question to each of them, “What in your opinion is the greatest key to seeing the Lord heal people?” She said they all replied without exception, every single one of those great men and women of God responded, “Silence.” Waiting before the Lord, quieting oneself so He could move through them. The miracles create a clamor, not the other way ’round.

And interestingly, I received an article earlier this month  by David Alsobrook on ‘Sitting before the Lord’.
Some excerpts..

Sitting before the Lord means emptying your mind of your plans about what you should do about anything.

Sitting before the Lord means allowing yourself to become empty and poor in spirit.

He wants our Awe to increase. When our hearts are filled with awe, He will bestow His all in our lives.

So, I”ve begun building silence into my day. And to be honest, that’s challenging in a day of school drop-off and pick-up, work, taking the young one to cricket practice, making dinner, homework supervision, watering the tomatoes, Bible study,…. but it is vital. Incredibly vital.

And incredibly exciting!!