Regret. It can be very crippling to spirit and body. It’s a horrible stronghold capable of paralyzing life and spirit. Regret ruthlessly consumes our “now” thoughts, holding us captive. We give regret space in our head. Some give it a “continuous play” mode. Regret deflates spirit, tramples hope, condemnation cursing within. If you are a child of God, regret with soul condemnation is to have no head or heart space.
Do you believe I am ABLE to do this? Matthew 9:28
I sense Him challenging me right now on what I believe about Him. He is challenging me to review my prayer language. He is challenging me to take my eyes off myself and put it 100% on His ability and willingness to act.
Uniquely in Matthew 9:28, Jesus asks 2 blind men, “Do you believe I am able to do this?”
If prayer includes anything, it definitely includes Jesus’ nature to question what you believe and test your heart towards him.
He repeatedly asks Peter, “Do you love me?”- John 21:15-17
He asks Paul, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” – Acts 9:4
He challenges his disciples, “Where is your faith?”- Luke 8:25
He questioned Adam. “Where are you?”- Genesis 3:9
He tested Abraham, Genesis 22:2- “Take your son, your only son, whom you love- Isaac- and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”- Genesis 22:2.
Prayer is two way. God is not silent in relationship. We can severely limit prayer to wanting answers, releasing words with rapid machine-gun type fire. We get impatient that He doesn’t answer on our terms. While He on the other hand, has a very active conversation going. He is all about exploring and knowing with the goal that we love Him, abide in Him, obey Him, trust Him, mature in faith, glorify Him, and follow Him into fields ripe with harvest.
We want answers and intervention on our terms. He wants relationship and mature, faith-filled disciples.
Healthy, thriving relationships require relational investment on both sides. If that is ignored, over the course of time, relationships are fractured and often end. People who stop talking to one another end up no longer close. Same with prayer.
I’ve come to realize Jesus is never the one who stops talking to his people. If you feel He is silent, do a search on all of the questions He asks people in the Gospels and begin to answer them for yourself. Scroll back up to the questions listed above. See what kind of conversation that creates between the two of you.
He always knows where you and He stand. His line of questioning is about having us reflect on where we stand in our hearts towards him.
What we believe reflects the way we talk to Him and what we talk to him about. It will reflect the way we talk about Him to others.
I am in a season of major change. He is using this as a time to assess my prayer language with Him. I can focus too much on looking at the impossible in front of me. Sometimes it seems He is very silent; but I am wrong. He is indeed speaking just answering on His terms.
I keep hearing “ABLE” and “Faithful”. End of discussion. He is not going to tell me "how", He is going to tell me "WHO". If I want more detail about "WHO", I have more than I could ever handle. All I need to do is open up scripture and visit the endless accounts revealing His supernatural ability and faithfulness to His people. PLUS I can look back at my own life and see His supernatural provision and faithfulness and return thanks.
The last time I was in major transition due to job change was back in 2002. I was in San Clemente at the time. I’d been impressed by God to stay in California after my employer liquidated its business. Staying in California was risky due to the cost of living. But in obedience, I stayed. God then frustrated all efforts to find new full-time employment! I only had random part-time positions for short spurts. No steady stream of income came as a result of my effort.
It became necessary to spend my savings and also my decent size 401K. I remember the intense fear and panic felt at different times. He let me get to a point of not being able to meet my financial obligations.
By mid 2003, I needed to be rescued. He stepped in, humbling me to accept help. He extended His grace in miraculous ways for which I was amazed and exceedingly thankful. But month-to-month tension remained. Whispers of others also began at this point. My “circle” was starting to feel I really needed to get my act together and get a full-time job. Pressure was building; the grace of others was waning. I remember not knowing how to explain what was happening. Late 2003, it got to a point where my sweet kitty, Tigger, and I, were staying in a friend’s living room. Talk about humbling circumstances! After a few months, this friend came to me and told me her son was moving back in, so I had to go.
Now December 2003, some other friends said I could stay at their house to pet sit while they went on a mission trip; but upon return, I could not stay. While they were gone, fear of being homeless really worked on me. All throughout God was speaking to strengthen my faith, but my fears were louder. Then curious whispers began, “Rochester, NY.”
My grandparents lived in Rochester, also the place I was born. I was NOT happy about whispers to go to Rochester. Leaving seemed impractical, especially since I would risk losing my part-time employment that was paying me $18/hour. That employer was Ralph’s, a grocery store that hired me in 2003 because union laborers were on strike. In my limited human sight, I saw that job as a critical lifeline.
But as January 2004 came up, my friends were also returning from their trip; and as they stated previously, I was not allowed to stay. So I spent a couple nights in my car just trying to get to the date when my flight left Orange County airport. This experience was beyond heartbreaking in many ways.
But God’s love and faithfulness sustained me. His whispers and living promises in His Word began carrying more weight than my fears. While not easy, he was breaking my dependency on all others. I knew following His voice was my path forward. Using frequent flier miles from business travel, I packed for a 2 week trip, with kitty in tow, and left for Rochester.
When I finally caught up to what God was doing, I put my resume online and had a job within 3 days. The offer came on my birthday and on the same day the strike ended in California. God was moving me to Rochester, NY. Everything that had happened was according to His plan. God used it all for good; and my relationship with him was dramatically strengthened, not fractured.
This was all a necessary test Jesus orchestrated to strengthen our relationship, to build my trust in Him.
Now 12 years later, here I am again in major transition. He is freshly sifting through my heart asking me, like he questioned the blind men, “Gina, do you believe I am ABLE?”
My courage comes from looking back at God's faithfulness and following His lead to adjust my prayer language proclaiming He indeed is able and faithful.
Look back on your life. What has He brought you through? How does it help you discover how He wants to work on your relationship with Him? What area is He challenging you? Is He asking you if you love Him? Is He saying like He said to Adam, “Where are you?” Is He testing you, like He tested Abraham, “Take that thing you love and sacrifice it.” Is He asking you like He asked the blind men, “Do you believe I am able to do this?” Is He saying, "Why are you thinking these things in your heart?"- Mark 2:8
If you want to grow in your faith and have a satisfying prayer life with God, tune away from what you want to say, and instead tune to questions He asks. Take an honest look at your time in prayer, your tone with Him, your words, your countenance. Do you mostly focus on your problems and have a “Whoa is me” kind of prayer language? Or do you focus on Him and celebrate that He is able! This is what He is getting to when He asks, “Do you believe I am able to do this?”
Your faith is HIS script. The world says, “Write your story, you are only limited to your imagination.” But if you are his, God says HE is author. Not only is He author, He is the FINISHER of your faith, Hebrews 12:2.
God will finish the work He began in you, Philippians 1:6! Jesus touches eyes who come by faith and says to them, “According to your faith, let it be done to you.” That is a landmine explosive with supernatural promise right there! Fields ripe with harvest, Matthew 9:35-38. Ask. This is the field in which we are to finish our faith. He alone is supernaturally able. He is faithful and will do it, 1 Thessalonians 5:24.
Heavy burdens creating anxiety are weighing down the Lord’s people. If there is a common thread in prayer need right now, I am seeing this is it. Anxieties are not just weighing down; they are crippling, stealing breath and sleep and livelihood. As God’s people, we know this should not be so and that adds an even greater weight to it all.
Everyone’s situations are different. God’s people have children who are astray; children recklessly risking their lives in various ways, family with long-standing health issues that are paralyzing and overwhelming loved ones. God’s people are weighed down with personal anxieties too. Faith walks are crippled, tossing back and forth due to unbelief. Some are trapped in a debilitating cycle of sin and self, boxed in a stronghold of self-destructive behavior. Some are stuck in mourning feeling blinded by sorrow, loneliness with hopelessness selfishly hoarding all of their thoughts. Some are under intense spiritual attack, the enemy very intent on killing your faith. For God’s people, staying stuck in muck and mire, paralyzed in a state of dread reveals a deep spiritual need not being met. We are not to live in a slimy pit; there is ALWAYS promise God will rescue.
Psalm 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
Waiting patiently implies expectation of God’s intervention. How do we wait? (Click here to read about waiting.) If your definition of waiting does not include extended times in His presence, you probably have a deep spiritual need not being met and anxiety is getting the better of you.
When I was around 6 years old, my parents took us camping somewhere along Lake Ontario. My brother and I and some cousins were in a shallow part of the lake, maybe waist deep. Suddenly we noticed our feet sank with each step. Someone said it was quick sand; and we had to get out or we would drown. I remember the panic I felt believing this were true; and how suddenly my feet felt cemented in the water, my breath escaping me as I desperately made my way towards tree roots jetting out from the shoreline. Those roots seemed to be my only hope to hold on and not die.
There was no quick sand. But just like envisioning drowning in quick sand, often our reactions are based upon our own skewed perception. And then sometimes our reactions are based upon ugly realities. The diagnosis that comes. The debt that looms. We then project a terrible outcome and our prayer language reflects it. God hears our drama instead of hearing prayers based on His ability to intervene.
In my studies I’ve learned that the Hebrews defined the future as behind and the past as in front. Why? Because what is in front can be seen, it is in plain view. The future cannot be seen; therefore it is hidden behind, unseen. If God is part of our past, His former faithfulness is in front of us. Looking to the past is clear vision towards the unseen future. We are called to see His former help and anticipate His intervention for now circumstances. He has been faithful, merciful, and powerful to rescue. He does not change. Our future is always dependent on the One who does not change. He alone is the place for anxieties to be stilled.
Beyond remembering former acts of God's faithfulness to you, assess your current state of faith and the soil in your heart. The parable of the sower in Matthew 13 is a good place to do so.
It mentions a wide range of circumstances. Off path. Seeds of faith devoured. Rock ground. A tender plant scorched. Withered. Choked by thorns. Troubles. Persecutions. Worries. Deceitfulness of riches. Calloused hearts. Ears not listening. Eyes closed.
Jesus says to his disciples (not everyone) in this parable, “Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” He goes on to explain that good ground will produce hearts that not only perceive; but understand, to bring forth an inexplicable multiplication of fruit and harvest.
“But I can’t see and I am having trouble hearing!”
How did we get in the place that we stand? What choices have led us to where we are? Some have gotten where they are by faith. Now there is realization that we can’t save ourselves or others. If this is you, you are in good company. You are a disciple. Christ leads his disciples to places that illicit high anxiety simply because they followed Christ. He doesn't leave you there though.
Is it a coincidence that the miracles in Matthew 14 are placed after the parable of the sower in Matthew 13? If you have followed God out into the wilderness and can’t feed yourself or others, if you are standing on water by faith, Jesus is right there with you. Yes, he is challenging and stretching you. But it is His power alone that miraculously multiplies supply, it is His power alone that heals the wound that won't stop bleeding.
Gospel accounts are resolved quickly and this frustrates our prayer life. In Matthew 14, Christ prays over scraps and within hours thousands are miraculously fed. Peter cries out and Jesus quickly reaches out his hand to save him. Momentary cry, immediate rescue. Yet our cries echo in our head, circumstances drag on, situations worsen. “Where is the immediate rescue?” we question. This is the battle of flesh against spirit.
If I only focused on negative, my anxieties would be crippling me right now. I MUST walk on higher ground of God’s promises. All throughout scripture, God always presented supernatural intervention as possible outcome. Supernatural outcome DID NOT happen where flesh choice rejected spirit walk.
Where we cannot see in the physical, He says we can see in the supernatural. He says blessings come in seeing and hearing Him. This supernatural promise is either true or false. My seed and yours doesn’t need to be devoured, scorched, or choked. It can be miraculously multiplied. Do we believe or not? Will we venture forth with eyes of faith and hear promise of rescue?
NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. – Hebrews 11:1
The conviction of their reality… faith perceived as real fact. I love the Amplified version of Hebrews 11:1! I can see if I trust God! You can see outcome too! Quick resolution in the Gospels was allowed for merely a few when Christ walked the earth. They were evidence of His authority and power.
Now He is in Heaven and in all his fullness is in us who believe, His Spirit daily wrestling our flesh, which will win? Flesh or spirit?
He is not a father who holds out arms only to step aside at the last minute, letting us fall, laughing as we struggle in waters too deep for us. He is the father that rescues and delivers. Your current struggle could be about learning to trust in Him alone. He’s called you to this trial of faith, now position by faith. Anticipate His intervention. Daily watch and persist with Him. Anticipate Him entering with a strong hand to deliver and rescue. Waiting is the hardest part; but we must wait so He can get the glory.
Your current struggle could be about spiritual warfare. Are you fitted with armor? What is penetrating your heart, mind, and soul? Stand firm fitted with spiritual armor and persist in prayer (Ephesians 6:10-20). Battle. Linger longer with God and boldly claim promises.
To those whose anxiety weighs down due to poor choices, God is merciful. Return to Him. A humbling and confession is necessary, as is a high-tailed sprint into the Father’s arms. He is looking for you, running towards you at the slightest indication you are turning back to him, Luke 15:20. He will clean you up, celebrate, and provide abundantly in ways you do not deserve.
Claim, "The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing." Psalm 23 is filled with visuals, sounds, promises and supernatural outcomes based on faith. Draw nearer! Come to the meditation tomorrow morning at 9am at Webster Recreation, room 302. Sign up on the calendar page. It’s a unique time with God to perceive His Shepherd heart and rest in His supernatural care. Don't be fooled. Without staying close to our Shepherd, following His voice, the world and all its attacks and cares will destroy us. Our flesh will create our outcomes. Instead may you claim Jesus’ blessing… “Blessed are your eyes for they see; and your ears for they hear!”
The words in the title above come from Isaiah 49. It is a beautiful chapter on the power of God's chosen servant. I want to return praise to Him; to the One described in this chapter, because He is setting captives free. The LORD is soooooooooooo good!
I have not been ministering very long through these meditation sessions, but I have been truly blessed to see and hear how God has been speaking to people and ministering to their deepest needs. Last Saturday, it moved me to tears to see a group of people lost in the presence and comfort of God. I was amazed further seeing hearts refreshed and faces freshly kissed by God, hearing amazing testimony of the secret things He did in their hearts to forgive. Our God releases captives!
I'm not sure how to reach through your screen and get a hold of you in such a way that you will be convinced more time with God is your lifeline to inexplicable joy, peace, comfort, hope, faith, strength, forgiveness, protection, fellowship, supernatural wisdom, LIFE that is truly LIFE! That's a long sentence but I said it to you in one breath. (For emphasis, try reading it out loud in one breath, see if you can.)
Tomorrow I am honored to do a meditation session with all men. Wow. I am super excited and thankful! Pray for these men who will spend extended time with God in prayer! The meditation will be on strong leadership. If you want to see a flyer about this meditation, please go to the Custom Sessions page, a new page with some beginning content. Do you have any interest in holding a meditation for your group? I am looking for other small group settings to lead people in extended time with God. If you have any interest, contact me.
On Saturday, May 14th I will be holding another session on Psalm 23 at Webster Recreation Center at 9am in Room 302. To get a better understanding of this meditation, please go to the Custom Sessions page and download the flyer. Sign up for the session on the calendar page.
I am just a conduit to set prayer appointments. God will show up! Will you?
I've heard your requests for holding another Forgiveness meditation. Next week I will announce a mid week evening session.
I am not sure if I will be writing a brand new session beyond the 3 I've done so far. Over the coming weeks, the Forgiveness session might be the only new one scheduled for now. Why? Because we have formed as a not-for-profit, and some paperwork related things and operational set-up are necessary at this point as we take steps related to 501c3 status. I greatly appreciate those who have seeded into me and what God is doing. Any love offerings are helping me focus my time and energy into the beginnings of this ministry.
If you feel so led, please go to the Ministry offering page and invest in what God is doing. To those who have given gifts for local servants, I have already given out sessions to a couple of local ministering servants. They've already attended a session! One of those attendants was able to fully release and forgive a family member who abused her and her family members in horrific ways. God set a captive FREE! Rejoice with me on her healing! Return praise to God! Your contribution helps me extend and reach out to these precious servants and bless them unexpectedly! Your help funds simple but necessary things like printing, gas, and my time.
Know people are being saved through these sessions; so far, one man and one young woman! The unchurched have come! People are newly connecting or reconnecting in a deep and meaningful way with their Heavenly Father; they are releasing pent up emotion and receiving counsel from the Holy Spirit; they are seeing steps forward to walk out their faith in surrender and in obedience to the God who has engraved them on the palms of His hands- Isaiah 49:16. They are receiving corporate and personal prayer! I pronounce blessings and proclaim God's promises to all who come.
God says, "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!"- Isaiah 49:15. God has not forgotten you!
God says, "Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save..." We have a fierce defender in Heaven, a God that compares to no other! Draw near to Him! He blesses and rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
There is no other people who can claim a God who speaks tenderly and lovingly to His own.
God says, "Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. With whom will you compare me or count me equal? To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?"
It's worth repeating, God has called me to be a servant, setting prayer appointments for you to spend extended time with Him. He will show up. Will you?
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Prayer is Gift!
Into the Waters Ministry is a 501(C)3 public charity. Our mission is to inspire you to linger longer with God, to draw near and know Christ. For those willing, it is a place of supernatural hope and healing. I know this first hand. My name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 20+ year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and receiving His life in greater measure! I've experienced radical healing in mind, body, and spirit and believe God for more! I long for others to position themselves for the same! Into the Waters' resources help you spend quality time with God to enter His rest and receive His divine provision. Let us help you experience more of God! Read the blogs, try the exercises, participate in online sessions! His promises for life and wholeness are offered to all! But you have to say "Yes!"