With over 7.4 billion people on this planet right now, God knows exactly what is in the hearts and minds of all. Even more amazing is that He can hear and speak to all of us at the same time. This is a thought that either makes a brain seize up and cramp because you believe it but certainly can’t explain it, or it’s a thought that makes you laugh at me thinking I am a complete fool to believe such nonsense. Which are you, brain cramp or mocker?
Jesus said that unless we change and become like little children, we will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Matthew 18:3. The Kingdom is a “now” reality we are gifted to carry within, filled with God’s love and grace and presence and power and Word. By Him in us, we are meant to reflect the One who rose from the dead and saves all who call on his Name.
I will never forget a testimony I heard on my first mission trip. In 2007, I went to India and was at a conference where we were teaching the Bible to new believers. I was teaching my group that God speaks through the Holy Spirit. Through an interpreter, I asked my circle if anyone had a story to share of God speaking to them. One man in his 50’s wanted to share. He said his wife had suggested he go to some meetings being held by a local Christian earlier that year. He was not a Christian, he was Hindu. The meetings required an overnight stay. Without understanding why, he went. But as soon as he checked in, he felt out of place and angry so he left the first meeting. He went to his hotel room and called his wife and said he was not going to stay. She disagreed with him and said he should stay which made him even more upset. After hanging up with her, he said he paced his floor and started arguing out loud, “Why stay, what does it matter where I go?” Immediately in his heart he heard, “Open the bible.” This stopped him, and he looked at the bible he had just received that day. He opened it. When he opened it, his eyes immediately met these verses from Psalm 139-
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
He said the Holy Spirit went on to tell him there is nowhere he would ever go that God would not know exactly where he was, and that it was useless to try and flee His presence. He was to stay and learn about Jesus. This flood of words in his spirit was so foreign to his own thinking, so specific to the complaint of his heart, he stayed. He made a decision that weekend to invite Christ to rule his heart and save his soul!
God is a Good Father. It is His good pleasure to give us the kingdom; but in childlike faith will we receive the divine life He offers?
I read a devotional from Os Hillman this week that talked about the church evolving to become more reason and analysis based rather than obedience by faith based. Decision making for God’s people is to be pure obedience as led by the Spirit in submission to Christ, not by logic and reason. God gets glory from obedience, not carefully laid out human calculation. He went on to say logic and reason didn’t bring the walls of Jericho down, nor was logic and reason how Naaman was healed of his leprosy.
Os Hillman gave only 2 of countless biblical examples that reveal God as One who calls his people to walk by faith, not by sight. But our Christian culture resists; we have a ton of unbelief. I think we miss out on a lot because of unbelief. We forget that unbelief made God change his mind about bringing a previously chosen Israelite generation into a promised land. We forget Christ’s severe warning and rebuke of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum because they would not repent even after seeing His power. We forget Christ was unable to do miracles within his hometown and fellowship because of their unbelief. We forget the intense warnings of Paul in 1 Corinthians 10 (worth reviewing). We are in a generation that minimizes God’s warnings wanting to reason and control our way through faith. We forget that God reveals hidden and secret things to little children, not the wise and learned, Matthew 11:25.
Logic and reason versus faith by obedience were at odds in me on Monday. It was a real battle of will versus Spirit. But I pressed in so unbelief would not get an upper hand. But the nagging fear for provision stayed with me all day. I was weary after a draining previous week and weekend so doubt was loud. By the end of the day, I decided I could not go home with this pressure, so I decided I would walk and talk it through until it was gone. Mostly for the first 45 minutes or so I was repeating to myself scriptural promises and reviewing key moments that led me to my current place. It was over 90 degrees that day so I made my way along a wall in shade and happened upon this baby bird, breathing heavily in the heat, eyes closed, barely alive…
This little bird sent me into a tail spin of thought. “LORD please don’t let this little bird die right in front of me right now!” I had no idea what to do except get it some water, so I hurried back to my jeep and and prayed with fervor that the little bird would live. As I prayed, I realized that I was really the little bird and that seeing this bird in distress was somehow symbolic of my current distress. Then I remembered sitting in Wegman’s last Fall and in a bizarre turn of events, a sparrow hit slightly above my arm brushing my sleeve dying on impact with the window, falling to the ground. Jesus was reaching in to my thoughts then, He was reaching in to my thoughts now. He was reminding me that not a single sparrow falls to the ground and dies without His father knowing about it, Matthew 10:29. He was reminding me not worry about my life. All I was to do was to seek first the Kingdom of God and all that I needed would be provided, Matthew 6:25-34. When I came back to the wall, the little bird was hopping around in response to one of his parents calling him from above. He got nervous as I got close, so I quickly doused him with water to cool him, took a picture and let nature takes it course, happy and settled God was in control of the little bird and me.
God is pleased to give us the kingdom; but in childlike faith, we must believe. There is blessing in seeking first His Kingdom, a treasure that will never rot or fail.
Into the Waters Ministry, Inc has been formed to help people linger longer with God and to resource the earnest to draw near and know Christ. Tuning to His voice and spending time in His presence is a gateway to kingdom reality. God speaks and renews minds in the sessions we are holding. God is giving comforting words to speak to His people and letting them know He sees them. He is speaking words of life to their spirits. His children are not out of his view. He knows all about them. He knows what is happening in their lives, hearts, and minds. Stay tuned for more sessions to be announced and in childlike faith attend! There is divine revelation for those who believe and an eternal kingdom to walk in by faith not by sight in this world and the next.
Sunday is Father’s Day, so I am going to return praise by sharing some of what God the Father did in this week’s session. I’m also going to make a plea that you attend the session next Thursday June 23rd at Webster Recreation!
First let's praise Him! Here is one partial comment from this week’s session on Forgiveness with specifics omitted to protect privacy-
“Last night was beautiful. I really felt like I started allowing God to speak to me. When I came into His Presence, I was feeling fear and anger. I have struggled with a sense of worthlessness, shame, and not being loved. I have dealt with this before, but I believe the Lord is trying to take me further in the healing process. I gave some things over during turning memories into ashes. One is my own father’s anger at me as a child… I sensed God taking those words away. I’ve also struggled in some abusive relationships and was able to give those words and memories to the Lord as well. He was telling me that I am worth something and I am loved and that He wants to give me beautiful things.”
"HE WAS TELLING ME THAT I AM WORTH SOMETHING AND I AM LOVED AND THAT HE WANTS TO GIVE ME BEAUTIFUL THINGS.”
Beauty for ashes. This is the good Heavenly Father we are privileged to spend time with!
There are not sweeter words that I could hear for feedback after sessions! I am thankful that she could hear Him that way! Notice that she said she felt like she started allowing God to speak to her. It’s indicative of a relationship that is growing and developing. She is invested. She is connected to her part in the process of hearing from God. She is in a place where she is opening the door of her heart wider. Christ is knocking and she wants to be vulnerable and let him in. This is the reason Into the Waters Ministry, Inc. has been formed! There is no other One who can heal and touch and breathe life like our beautiful God!
It’s clear though that not everyone easily receives His sweet whispers in their own prayer times.
A good number of people I pray with at the end of the sessions are NOT hearing his whispers. They feel His presence; but struggle to feel accepted. It is not because they don’t want to hear. Yes some admit they resist deeper levels of intimacy with God, preferring other people and things. But for most, their lack of hearing correctly is often based upon an internal voice of condemnation. The voice from the liar is louder. There are deeply embedded strongholds in minds. Strongholds impeding spiritual freedom are ALWAYS in direct opposition to the life God intends for us. These are areas where our thoughts need to be held captive in obedience to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
I am always thankful that the people struggling to correctly perceive the Father's thoughts towards them, ask for prayer! You have to bring the lies into the light. God has been quick, QUICK, QUICK, to give me immediate words to counter their lies. Emotion wells up as I review in my mind the sweet whispers He has me share to vaporize the lies. He has done it in EVERY session.
With one I prayed for this week, as she tearfully shared about a situation, I just kept hearing in my spirit, “She’s so beautiful. She’s so beautiful. She’s so beautiful.” After she finished speaking, she asked me something but I didn’t hear it. All I could do was open my mouth and say to her what God was repeating in my head about her. This is exactly what she needed and it helped her break in emotional relief. Life that is truly life came; and I saw His love fill her up. Her body countenance and face reflected it immediately.
For another at this week’s session, who felt fear of the Father's rejection, while praying with her, He showed me a picture of her running around in circles in a field, arms in the air. She was laughing as she ran in circles, her head also lifted. She was saying over and over and over, “Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy.” When she heard this her tears and heart heaviness turned to laughter. I also very literally felt her body strengthen.
Feeling her body strengthen was very cool, because it was one of the promises I emphasized in the beginning of the meditation. Romans 8:11 says, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
When I am praying with people I am listening to what they are saying; but at the same time I am listening to what God might impress upon me or specifically say. I want my input to stay out of the prayer process, because it is highly personal and sacred ground between God the Father and his child. I see that there is no sweeter gift to be given than a Heavenly Father’s love to His child.
Do you need this gift? Do you need time with Him? Please consider coming to next Thursday’s session on the Father’s LOVE. Sign up on the calendar page! Please. If you are anyone who feels broken, discouraged, weak, ashamed, lost, confused, desperate, weary, overwhelmed, afraid, upset, broken, angry, please come. Be willing to be vulnerable.
It is not just for women either. Yes the session attendees are mostly women. But know that God ministers to men too. One man told me God gave him a worship song during a meditation. His face was all lit up, I could tell it deeply touched him. God used the session in another man's heart to lead him to return to Him and recommit his life. These are the simple and sweet touches of our God that gives us strength to continue on, until the day He visits us (1 Peter 2:10-12).
Remember I am willing to come into your group. Invite me! I received an invitation this week to come into a group in July.
He rewards those who earnestly seek Him, Hebrews 11:6. He is not a prescription; He is a God to know. He is Father, Son, Holy Spirit, giving life to your mortal body by His Spirit living in you. I can’t emphasize enough that you should come and spend extended time in His presence. Come and receive prayer. He has something for you that you will not find in any other activity or from any other relationship.
Finally, are any among you willing to sow a seed by buying a session for a weary servant? They are applied to single moms that are coming, young adults who are coming, local servants and anyone God puts on my heart to invite as gift. I don’t want a “session price” to stop people from coming. I am called to serve first and trust God for the provision. I’m to minister freely so if you are willing to buy a session for someone, I am faithful to assign them out.
By next week we should have everything in place to receive tax deductible donations as I start to raise funds to be sponsored as a local missionary. I will be doing some targeted intercession for a limited amount of key sponsors who seed in as monthly support, If you want more information, let me know. There is huge potential to minister in prayer in these meditative sessions, for God to reach in to the deep places and heal people in prayer settings and through targeted intercession. (Note- Individual Session sponsorship will never be tax deductible since it is going towards the “value” of the meditation.) True value far exceeds $20 and the LORD will generously bless givers of the heart. Hope to see you at a session!
Bless the LORD by kneeling
If I were to ask you what the verb “bless” means in Hebrew terms, what might you say? Would your initial thoughts include having a primary notion of bending, breaking, as in breaking down? Bending and breaking would not be words I would list to describe what it means to bless. I would think more in terms of receiving a gift I wanted. Yet, in the Strong’s Concordance, bless is an act of adoration that causes you to kneel and bless.
From God to us, you see that when He blesses, there is a divine multiplication and eternal impact that follows. But before heading in that direction, what part does blessing the Lord play in our prayers?
In scripture we are told to “bless the LORD”. In preparing this blog I realized modern translations like the NIV have replaced the occurrences of this phrase. It now appears as “praise the Lord”. I don’t think I like the revision; it changes body posture. Praise focuses on extending hands; blessing emphasizes bending and breaking, being on your knees and can include extending hands.
Nehemiah 8:6 the Amplified version says, “And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, lifting up their hands; and they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with faces to the ground.
When is the last time you blessed the Lord with your face to the ground?
In the KJV Psalm 103:2 says, “Bless the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” The Amplified version of Psalm 16:7 says, “I will bless the Lord, who has given me counsel; yes, my heart instructs me in the night seasons.” (Notice the promise of Psalm 16:7, God gives counsel and instructs hearts. This is reason to bless Him!)
It’s a challenge to think of blessing God when it means I bend, break down, kneel in surrender. But this is where true riches are found. Yet many of us are not willing to bend and break. In terms of prayer, this may well be where we have power cords disconnected from Heavenly presence.
We want what we want; we have our terms. We feel entitled and focus too much on wanting blessing, versus blessing the LORD because He deserves it. There are many invitations the Holy Spirit will impress on our hearts, opportunities to bless the LORD by bending to His will, breaking down and conforming to His way. If only we would! It has great possibility to bring surprise visits of fellowship and favor!
We see a surprise visit in Genesis chapter 14. In this chapter, AFTER Abram selflessly risks his life and the lives of his servants to save his nephew Lot from enemy capture, he is visited by a supernatural being known as Melchizedek. We are told Melchizedek is priest of God Most High and came to BLESS Abram. He does so not merely with words of blessing; but by bringing Abram a fellowship offering of bread and wine.
During the supernatural visit, Abram gives Melchizedek a tenth of the possessions captured in battle. He now has 90% left. Does he keep it assuming it as blessing? No.
He could have kept it. Why not? After all, Melchizedek just pronounced he was blessed by God Most High, Genesis 14:18. The king of Sodom even gave Abram permission to keep the 90%, Genesis 14:21! Yet Abram tells him, “I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ It seems Abram craved the heavenly visitation that came with bread and wine as satisfying above and beyond the riches of a pagan king. In these terms, Abram was kneeling before God in worship, not a pagan king. This is blessing God.
Immediately after, the Lord comes to Abram in a vision, see Genesis 15. NEVER TO BE OUTDONE, now it is the LORD who will bless Abram. The LORD offers Abram a blessing above and beyond his wildest imaginations. He blesses and multiplies Abram’s seed telling him that not only will he have a miracle son; his offspring will be multiplied beyond the stars in the sky. He seals a covenant with Abram, confirming the Lord’s friendship, offering divine protection, promising great reward, promising a son from his own flesh. He eternally solidifies Abram as father of all who believe by faith. God seals his word under a blood covenant bringing fire from Heaven via a smoking firepot and blazing torch. This is God’s reaction to Abram’s choice to bless his God! WOW!
Abram did not want what the world offered. Neither was he “working” God for a blessing. He wanted the bread and wine and heavenly fellowship more!
How about you? How about me? Would you have given the 10% to Melchizedek? Would you have released the 90%?
We have our own Melchizedek visit in Christ. Christ comes with bread and wine too, offering covenant fellowship. Our holy God, also blesses us by breaking and kneeling. It’s an uncomfortable picture; but one we must see. Christ our Messiah blessed us by breaking and surrendering. His body is the broken bread and his blood is poured out wine, Luke 22:19-20. As a result, we are eternally blessed, part of the blessing God promised to Abraham.
Galatians 3:14- He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
How do we respond? Do we long more for the One who comes to eat and drink with us or do we long more for wealth and power and the honor of earthly kings? Are we breaking and bending, kneeling to bless? The King of kings kneels at our feet willing to wash off the dirt of our day, to serve us even though He is our Master. He is asking us to bend to His will, to go and do likewise. If we do, we will be blessed, John 13:1-17.
2 challenges for blessing… One, spend some time on your knees in prayer, lay yourself out face to the ground. Bless him with a heart that bends and breaks and kneels out of holy awe and respect. Let him wash your feet, addressing the sins that need cleansing. See if your relationship with God thrives as a result. (Try the audio meditation as a way to begin a time of prayer with Him! See Meditation page)
Two, spend an extend time with Him! Our God responds to those who choose Him above all. The meditations are opportunities to choose Him over other activities, to prefer His presence and fellowship. You have 2 opportunities, one next Tuesday and another on Thursday June 23rd. Sign up on the calendar page! Hope to see you! The Lord will always out-give your offering, just like he did with Abraham.
This week an audio meditation exercise has been posted here. It is 10 minutes long and I hope a wonderful help to renew your mind.
Meditations are plentiful in the WORD of God. It is full of sensory experiences and images that, among other things, are meant to help people:
For the meditative prayer exercise I am going to stick with the theme of waiting on God. I mentioned waiting a couple weeks ago in this post.
I keep coming back to the theme of waiting in my prayer time. It’s a lesson I’m not done with and I know I am not alone in learning how to wait!
Part of waiting includes not complaining that God doesn’t see or care. It is a discipline to learn and a HOLY Person to know. When we pray, God wants us to know his heart for us, to have an assurance that the One we are approaching is not only powerful, but intimately protective of His own.
This week God put on my heart, “Do not complain.” It was a reminder as I head into increasing heat of circumstance that He is with me in the fire. He wants my head on straight as I go forward, clear that He is right there with me. Complaining would indicate I do not think He is with me and feel alone, forgotten by Him.
Often our complaining is to ourselves, within ourselves. Internal dialogue would include anything along the line of, “Why can’t God see the stress I’m under? If He does see, he must not care. “
How do we “not complain?” God gives instruction in Isaiah 40. In this one example, He gives a lot of wonderful sensory experiences and images, one of which the audio meditation is based upon. In Isaiah 40, God promises forgiveness of sins, reminds of his Sovereign rule over all, tells of Good News, describes a Savior who will lead his people tenderly, carrying them close to his heart. He clearly says that He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak, Isaiah 40:29, 31.
He gives strength and power. We MUST come to him to get it.
In Isaiah 40, God tells his people not to complain. This is how I ended up in Isaiah 40 for prayer. When God puts something on my heart, I will search out his word and find similar occurrences of that theme or word. God never speaks contrary to His word so finding scripture that adds context, depth, and further wisdom is critical to discerning and receiving.
Isaiah 40:27 says, “Why do you complain, Jacob?”
Jacob represents his people. His people are complaining. He challenges his people in first person language in v25. It is not just a “God told me to tell you” message from Isaiah, it is God’s voice and words. “Why do you complain? Why do you say...? To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal? Lift up your eyes and look… who created all these?”
And here we have the challenge in prayer to not complain by WAITING in HOPE on the LORD who loves us.
Isaiah 40:31- “…but those who WAIT on the LORD WILL RENEW their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
It’s a familiar verse maybe you’ve already memorized. But maybe something less familiar to you is one of the pictures behind the word “wait”. Here is the picture:
For more information on why a rope is tied to the meaning of waiting, listen to the meditation.
Meditations from Into the Waters will help imprint God's truths in concrete ways. In the local sessions and in the shorter audio versions, you are led to respond to questions the meditation presents. With the Holy Spirit's help you linger in truth and open yourself up to be ministered to. By doing so, the strength and power He promises enters your soul. Waiting in hope is accessible by waiting in His presence!
As a final note, Into the Waters has formed as an official not-for-profit ministry. We are currently pursuing 501(c)3 status. Our mission is to inspire people to linger longer with God in prayer, resourcing the earnest to draw near and know Christ.
IF THIS MINISTRY IS BLESSING YOU or IF YOU BELIEVE PEOPLE NEED HELP LINGERING LONGER WITH GOD IN PRAYER, PLEASE CONSIDER PURCHASING A SESSION TO GIFT OUT. Your purchase helps power ministry forward.
GIFTED SESSIONS HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO WEARY LOCAL SERVANTS WHO’VE NEEDED A REFRESHING TIME IN GOD’S PRESENCE. THEY’VE BEEN GREATLY BLESSED in attendance!
PLEASE ALSO CONSIDER ATTENDING A SESSION YOURSELF! Visit the calendar page to sign up!
THANK YOU TO CHEERFUL GIVERS AND ACTS 2:45 SOULS! GOD WILL REWARD YOUR GENEROUS HEART! Revival starts in prayer!
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Prayer is Gift!
Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!