First I'll say that the blogs will now happen every other week. I've been ministering in prayer quite a bit more; and want to keep going through those doors I see opening. The ministering is happening online and in person. Less blog devotional and exercise writing will equal more ministering and helping people linger with God in prayer.
As I review the 20+ ministering situations over the last 3 weeks, for the most part, there is an obvious theme and it is ANXIETY. That theme is not just observed in ministering, but also heard in interactions I have in my 12 hour a week position. Instead of having a physical ailment, a good number of people express an urgent need to be seen due to overwhelming anxiety. They aren't going to work because of it; they are isolating and medicating.
Here is a snippet of one ministry interaction from an online situation, "After a very anxiety filled morning and trying many coping skills that kept failing and just increasing my anxiety, I took some medication. Now I just feel lonely and depressed but calm and a bit euphoric."
The anxiety is not gone. The pill was a temporary ineffective relief. Loneliness and depression replaced anxiety.
This person and most of the others have not factored God into their answers for managing internal upheaval.
Is God the magic pill? Does anxiety just go away when you become a Christian? No. Should we feel ashamed if we have anxiety? No. We are to recognize it as a call to remain. As Christians, we take the medicine of His love. Sounds all very fanciful and unrealistic. Fanciful? No. Unrealistic? Hmmmmm....
That call to remain can be quite puzzling. I was pondering it as I was tracing and coloring in one scripture last week. It is John 15:9. Jesus says,
"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you, now remain in my love."
I have been struggling with some anxious thoughts. So I came to the conclusion I was not remaining.
I decided to ask myself a question. How do I know that I am not remaining in Jesus' love?
My answer was..."when my fears nullify my faith, when I lack trust in God's help. And I have to admit I struggle often in the ministry call. I struggle with thinking I am not doing enough."
Jesus whispers into my scribbled confession, "I've got you."
I understand what my gentle Shepherd means and it calms me immediately. "I see you. Don't fear. I'm with you. Keep going. You are not alone. I will provide. I am able. You are not alone. You are not alone. You are not alone."
Then a scripture is impressed upon my heart to feed me, to let me know my praying and my serving is enough, Hebrews 6:10. Oh how I love HIS WORD delivered by His Spirit!!! He feeds me; and nourishes me as a vulnerable lamb in the midst of wolves, as a tender branch needing life from the true vine, John 15:5. How wonderful are His reassurances!
Jesus says we are remaining if...
"If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commands and remain in his love.. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete..."- John 15:10-11.
How often we question if the WAY we are remaining is "good enough", right?! The word obedience carries a negative connotation for a lot of people. It will illicit the "I'm not doing enough" response. We make obedience a burdensome word and heap up a list of "to do's" and estimate for OURSELVES what is "enough". Yet God's word says that obedience is NOT to be burdensome.
"In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." -1 John 5:3-5
Post belief in Jesus, our minds desperately need continual renewal. We need to remain in Him and He in us.
You know, even after the comfort of my prayer time I described above, two days later I struggled with not doing the blog last Friday. It was a lot for me to not write one, as I have done it consistently for every week since January 2016, with the exception of one week. Additionally, I struggled to give myself permission to leave a conference last Friday since I got the ticket for free, and wanted to honor the gift. But instead I gave in to the whisper of "Go sit with her." So I ignored the self-imposed burdens and perceived expectations of others and instead went to the hospital. I stayed the afternoon in the ICU. I got to sing and pray for hours over this little one God treasures. My anxieties dissipated and she was comforted. Obeying was not a burden.
Love trumps "doing". The simple act to obey is directly tied to loving. Loving dissipates anxiety. His call is for us to lay down our lives for the sake of others at the cost of our own agenda and the outcome of His joy. Anxiety and joy do not co-exist.
For you, is obeying a time clock to punch, a list to check off, a pressure cooker of expectations by others, an insistence on your way and measurements? Are you heaping false expectations and setting yourself up under a review system that is not of God? What is behind your anxiety? Ask Jesus to show you what is at the root of it.
Remain in His presence for awhile. Go to him and confess what is burdening you. Sing a song to Him. Read one scripture over and over and over. Wait on revelation and don't rush. Go slow. Write a scripture over and over and over. I was writing the John 15:9 scripture for 4 days in 5 minute increments before I was able to ask myself questions. Be patient with yourself in your anxiety. Ask yourself questions in reflection. Ask Jesus to help you understand your motives and attitudes. Take your eyes off yourself and go love someone in need.
I pray that you find a rhythm of remaining in His love. I pray you assess your definition of obedience and that it gets re-framed to mean "following His gentle guidance". May you receive His life giving words and obey. Blessings!
"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." - John 15:7-8.
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Consider this quote from a local medium who has been teaching meditations for over 20 years- “As a human being, we must learn to understand, nurture and create from our true essence, which is our Spirit. Our Spirit is our connection with Source, oneness with others, it is God, it is the Buddha within. It is powerful, compassionate, and truth filled. It is an intelligence of all that is great and eternal. Again it is NATURAL. Why wouldn’t you want to connect to this source of energy? First understand that when we meditate we connect to our most natural and sacred part of who we are. You are teaching yourself to look at the bigger picture or see the highest perception possible… Our Divinity, our relationship with God, the Universe, Buddha, Allah, Jesus, whomever it is, IT is all ONE… Wouldn’t you like to be connected to a Oneness that will never, ever, let you down? Then look in the mirror, IT is right in front of you. It is in your heart.” (Rochester Woman online May 2017, p 202-203)
A quote from the Bible, written by an apostle of God who preached meditating on Christ- “Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the LORD is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)
Secular thought- The Spirit is our essence
God’s thought- The LORD is the Spirit
Secular thought- God is the Buddha within.
God’s thought- God is the Lord.
Secular thought- We are naturally sacred, powerful, compassionate, and truth filled.
God’s thought- No one is good except God. The Lord is the only one who is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Power alone belongs to God. (Psalm 14:3, Exodus 34:6-7, Psalm 62:11).
Secular thought- You need to teach yourself to look at yourself, to see your Divinity. For transformation, you need to seek Oneness in your heart.
God’s thought- You are to turn to the Lord, who takes away a veil of blindness. By Christ it is removed, and only now can you, by the Spirit who gives freedom, stop relying on yourself and instead contemplate His glory. When you meditate on Christ’s glory, He transforms you into His image by His Spirit.
You probably saw some differences that you would add to this list above. And so the list of differences to discuss could continue; but those are some highlighted comparisons between human thinking and God’s instruction book of truth, i.e. the Bible.
God is not an abstract idea; He is a concrete person. He displays himself in the concrete actions of Christ and the Holy Spirit. He has a name, many variations of the same name, many titles, a supernatural nature, a human existence, and a glory all his own. He is who we meditate upon for supernatural transformation of our human nature, not ourselves.
Contemplate God’s glory. He is a lifetime of meditations for supernatural transformation.
If you are his, He promises to sustain you, bless you, transform you, carry you, deliver you, heal you, forgive you, renew you, cleanse you, provide for you, grieve with you, comfort you, intercede for you, give you eternal life and the list goes on. His glory is seen in the actions and life of Christ.
Over the last couple of weeks, God has been leading me to go out and share Christ, His promises and minister His love and mercy to others. I referenced a few of those life and death situations last week, read it here.
This week He burdened me to suggest a FB live prayer event for one of those families who are standing by faith for a loved one in the ICU. It was an honor to help them arrange a time to linger longer with God and confess His name in a public way, to invite all watching to pray with us, send in scripture and encouraging messages. It is recorded so family can view it later and is public for any to view. A call to believe in Christ was included as a number of people watching this family go through the medical trial are not yet believers. Salvation was offered as a gift by a wonderful spiritual leader of this family. It is public on FB. They glorified God. It was beautiful to see them press in and cry out and confess the goodness of God in the midst of great trial. They were vulnerable; they gathered together by the love of Christ and contemplated God's glory in prayer and song.
Interestingly, this woman's battle is visually displayed in the same issue of Rochester Woman Magazine referenced above, p 166-167. A picture of her with her husband and 8 children is on a page with the word "HOPE". The text states that their family claim that their only joy comes from Christ Jesus. The photographer also points your eye to a small rainbow on Lisa that "naturally appeared on many of the photos of the family that day". His glory is on this family. Supernatural, not natural.
If you would, please stop and pray for Lisa to be restored and miraculously healed once again.
The Buddha within or Christ within is a life or death soul choice. And I feel more pressure than ever to urge people to be sober of spiritual mind. God has been burdening me to go deeper in the middle of the night, to engage in battle prayer for His glory to be revealed. Yesterday I was singing and praying in my vehicle for 3 hours doing just that. It is in your best interest to contemplate God's glory, to spend extended time with Him in these days.
It’s overwhelming the people who are not rooted in truth. In interfacing with unbelievers over the last 2 weeks, they’ve detailed affairs, abuse, divorce, abandonment, narcissism, 4 people with extreme suicidal thoughts, cutting, depression and no thoughts or understanding of the hope found in God. In almost all situations, I have pointed them to Christ, not the power within themselves. Until they know Christ, the power isn't there. HE is not yet in them.
How frustrating to tell people that within themselves, if they dig deep enough, they are powerful enough, compassionate enough, and have enough truth from their ONENESS to get through it? What hope is there in telling people that their own heart will never let themselves down? I have been my own worst enemy far too often! The “IT” mentioned by the spirit medium above is not the abstract "ONENESS" she teaches. Neither is He an “IT”. People desperately need to meditate upon Christ and contemplate His glory for on-going supernatural transformation. They need His fullness within.
Choose your truth, use what is compared and contrasted above, and what is next, to talk to others of the differences-
1 ) Buddha- You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.
2) Jesus- He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"- Luke 10:27
1) Buddha- Peace comes from within, do not seek it without.
2) Jesus- John 14:26-27- But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.
1) Buddha- Better than worshiping gods is obedience to laws of righteousness.
2) God- You can never be good enough!- (Romans 4:4-5) Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him (Christ) who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,
Philippians 1:9-11- 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
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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!"