These last couple of days, I have spent some time with the Lord. A new year is about to start and I am stopping to consider the works of his fingers. His majesty is everywhere, especially upon closer looks. Use these pictures and one video below to consider him. Pull out your bible and read Psalm 8 which references the intricate works of his fingers, works he has given you dominion over. Enter in and consider the sights, smells, sounds, textures, light, shadows, creatures, plants, shapes, season, colors and praise His majesty!
Also consider attending the last Wednesday Worship-prayer session being held on January 11th at Webster Recreation at 7pm in room 304. More detail on the calendar page. Also at the event I will be handing out a document for fasting for a time in January. It will be a fast from leaven which represents sin. Please see Matthew 16:12 and 1 Corinthians 5:8 as examples of the types of sin symbolically associated with leaven. I hope you join in the fast and start out the new year cleansing and crying out for His life to fill you! Blessings and Happy New Year!
Question: Do you think that ONLY Mary was chosen for immaculate conception? She wasn’t. That may make some hackles stand up; but scripture supports the premise. Like Mary, humanity is privileged to carry the Holy One and reveal Him, yes or no?
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. – Luke 1:38
Read what the angel said to Mary before he left. Luke 1:35-
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Notice WHO came upon and overshadowed Mary. The Holy Spirit, a.k.a. the Holy Ghost.
Many know this as part of the Christmas story; but how often do we pray the Holy Spirit hover over us or over others and bear (manifest, reveal, carry, birth) the life of the Son of God? It’s not a weird or odd prayer, it’s biblical and speaks to the distinctive holy work of the Spirit.
The 2nd sentence of the Bible, Genesis 1:2 says:
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
The Spirit of God moved upon darkness. The Spirit hovered over the deep waters to create. The Spirit separated light from darkness.
Did you know that the moving, the type of hovering that the Holy Spirit does has a root meaning tied to tenderness?
râchaph, raw-khaf'; a primitive root; to brood; by implication, to be relaxed:—flutter, move, shake.
It is a softening, a relaxing, a loving and protective overshadowing as defined in Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, like a bird brooding over her young ones-
In Mary’s unique case, yes she alone physically bore the Son of God; but from a spiritual perspective, anyone can bear the Son of God through the work of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit hovered over Christ. He came upon Christ. He filled Christ, John 1:32-34.
“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but spirit gives birth to spirit”, Christ said. “You must be born from above,” Christ said. See John 3:1-21.
“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision, or a husband’s will, but born of God.”- John 1:12
Is the Holy Spirit a one-time event? For salvation I believe scripture supports that yes we are sealed once, see Ephesians 4:30. But for continual manifestation and power we need to live by His power and I believe scripture supports persistent and BOLD asking for more. Asking the Father for more of the good gifts of the Holy Spirit.
… yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs…- Luke 11:8b
What do you need? Jesus says, ask…
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”- Luke 11:9-13
Do you want much more? Do you want Christ to be made manifest through you? Ask!
Below are the words of the angel who spoke to Mary turned into a prayer. Pray for yourself and others. Remember it is the creative, holy work of the Spirit to hover over the deep waters within and brood with Holy love to form the Son of God, Galatians 4:19.
PRAYER FROM LUKE 1:35 for yourself:
Holy Spirit come upon me; power of the Most High overshadow me.
Holy one be formed in greater ways within me. Manifest, reveal the Son of God through me.
PRAYER FROM LUKE 1 for someone else:
Holy Spirit come upon “x”; power of the Most High overshadow “x”.
Holy One be formed within “x”. Spirit give birth to spirit and reveal the Son of God to him/her.
If you want to practice this prayer and continue to make persistent and bold requests like Jesus said to do… call in next Thursday night at 10pm to the new prayer line! I will be praying for the group to be filled with more and you will be able to have a refreshing time with the LORD in your private setting. Here is the information- https://www.freeconferencecall.com/wall/talktogodprayerline
Otherwise, Merry Christmas and be blessed in your longing for more of Him!
P.S. THANK YOU JESUS! I’m looking back at what He has done this year and how ALL highlights point to the Holy Spirit manifesting. Through Into the Waters Ministry, in prayer settings, he has talked to people, touched people, comforted people, given people divine wisdom and revelation, revealed Jesus, and drawn hearts nearer to Christ. I’m looking forward to what He will do in 2017! To God be the glory!
"But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will RISE with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture." - Malachi 4:2
Love the visual! God's Word is full of pictures meant to engage the full sensory experience to give depth and breadth of meaning to what He has penned to paper. Watch the video many times and enjoy their joy! Make the connection to the experience God wants us to feel and know. Does your spirit leap in you in this way? Do you express your joy to God with this freedom? Are you set free?
Having a healthy fear of God is good. It's not a fear that cripples, it's a fear that heals and sets free. I love how the Malachi scripture above ties fearing His Name to the title Sun of Righteousness! And then clarifies further that He has healing in his wings! This is not a descriptive of an ominous holy task master full of fire and brimstone, but of a God whose wings span the full breadth of the sky. Like the glorious sun, He rises from the east and spreads his righteousness over anyone who reveres His Holy Name. That is freeing. His righteousness is my righteousness. I don't have it on my own and am not expected to. God has not set us up to fail. He rescues us from our failure.
Psalm 63:7-8- Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.
Stay in a state of clinging.
This is where I have been. Especially as I have been somewhat heavy over the last couple of months that my ministry time was slowly being eaten away and I've continued to wonder about finances. Working part-time for 3 days a week has turned into 3 full days a week, this leaves 2 days for ministry. I've done writing for the blog, intercession, been working on the Thursday night prayer line and planning for 2017. Add scrambling and distraction and I've ended up unsure. But God's span of help reaches to where I cannot and to people I do not. He has seen the heaviness and has continued to whisper that I not give up. I've had to stay aware of His whispers of encouragement and follow His lead.
His help came recently as He was calling me to go to a concert at my church a couple of weeks ago. I was resisting somewhat because I had a family member visiting, but I felt His pull so I went. There I ran into 2 women whom I haven't seen in many months. They knew I started a ministry but have not received any letters nor have they been reading or receiving the blog. Long story short, they asked me to meet with them the following week. At that meeting, they told me they have been putting aside something every month for 2 years and that God has impressed upon them to hold it until He showed them what to do with it. They told me when they connected with me at the concert, they knew God was showing them me. They came prepared to give me a very generous gift that relieved some right now burdens. On the envelope they gave me, they penned the words, "God's property". Only God heard my requests. Only God knew my need. He heard and initiated the answer 2 years before my right now need!
This is an example of divine help that releases song! He offers his help to all who fear His name, Acts 22:16, Psalm 145:18, Isaiah 9:6, Romans 10:13. Hallelujah!!!!! The fear that takes away fear!
May you experience divine help that produces leaping and lyrical joy! There is a protected space under Divine wings, a Saving God to cling to, an Almighty God whose strength rules over all! Make Him your everything. There is no greater joy for His love is better than life- Psalm 63:3.
If you connect with this ministry's mission to inspire people to linger longer with God in prayer, to resource those who want to draw near and know Christ, thank you for considering a donation. Your donation can go to the advancement of some projects in the "wings". It also provides for me to only work part-time. I look forward to opportunities you've already offered me to join you in your small group settings in the beginning of 2017! Thank you! For any others, consider inviting me in and experience the biblical meditation of Psalm 23! Draw near and know Jesus Christ!
Lately I feel pulled in many directions, its a challenging season of balance and choosing priorities. These are the times I need my heart to be calmed and stilled; and spending time with Jesus is where I go. He is a refuge in the storm.
In this post, I'm sharing a scripture song by Sherri Youngward that I go to repeatedly when overwhelmed. It helps me pray and call on the LORD's presence and enjoy Him. It's a scripture based song reflecting Jesus' invitation to "Come to Me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest..." I don't know if the artist intended it this way; but I use the lyrics to respond to Jesus' invitation with my own invitation requesting His presence. My heart cry is "Come to me"...
It's a request He wants us to make of Him. He said to ask for good gifts and qualified the good gift as receiving MORE of the Holy Spirit, more of Himself, Luke 11:13. Ask, seek, knock! Respond to his invitation to come to him by beckoning Him to come to you! Set aside 10 minutes of prayer to make it only about asking Him to come and then enjoy His presence. The song lyrics are below as is a link to the artist's site with the song. May this resource help you put words to your heart cry for more of Jesus' supernatural presence and life... Blessings!
Quiet Place by Sherri Youngward
Come to me in this quiet place
A place made only for you
Come to me in this quiet place
My heart is longing for you
I love to be here with you
A time will come
When these moments will not end
And with the angels
We’ll bow before your glory
And we’ll sing songs of endless praise
Surrounded only by your beauty
Surrounded only by your beauty
"Quiet Place" is a song is from the CD "No More Goodbyes" and is the last song on the list, so scroll down this link to find it- http://www.sherriyoungward.com/no-more-goodbyes
Sometimes we just don't have words. Being an introvert by nature, I relate to having to work at times to find words in social circumstances especially. It makes one feel awkard, uncomfortable in their own skin to not be able to talk. Often if I am without words its because I can't find the courage to say what I really want to say, so I stay silent. Other times though, when I spend time with God, I enjoy being without words, just resting in His presence, using His Word to find pictures that illicit emotions and thoughts and experiences related to His glorious truths and promises. This is a way to meditate and pray with few words.
Around this time of year I often reflect on a piece of work by a Christian artist named Ron DiCianni. It is called "Simeon's moment". It captures the emotion of Simeon, a righteous and devout Jew, a man in whom God in Heaven entrusted with His best secret; the Savior was coming. God blessed him further by letting Simeon know he would be allowed to see the Lord's Messiah, Luke 2:22-35.
It gives me goose bumps to realize that God shared that secret with Simeon. I assume it was because God knew Simeon would treat the revelation as Holy treasure. God knew it sustained the deepest longings of Simeon's heart. God held to His Word, and in his old age, Simeon was allowed to see salvation when he took baby Jesus in his arms and looked at his face. I'm sure it gave God the Father great pleasure to see and hear the celebration and elation of Simeon as he held baby Jesus.
I like to imagine I am Simeon. I like to imagine what it would have been like to look upon the tiny face of my Holy Savior. His little body, his tiny fingers and toes, his bright beautiful eyes and tender head. I wonder what colors his eyes were and what his lips were shaped like. I wonder how much hair he had. I like to imagine bringing him close and kissing his face. It always bring tears. My heart moves me to a place without words, emotions I'd never be able to accurately describe. It's a cleansing and comforting meditation, one of the best feelings ever and no words are necessary.
In Greek, prayer (proseuchomai) is a compound of 2 words with the following meaning:
Interestingly in the Old Testament the words, "before, presence, and face" are synonyms of each other. It's the Hebrew word #6440 pânîym and is translated as BEFORE, FACE, PRESENCE.
Here are 3 scriptures as examples:
Exodus 23:20- Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.
Exodus 33:13- The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Psalm 27:8- My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do you see how being before the Lord (and the Lord being before His people), being in His presence, seeking His face ties to the New Testament definition of prayer? It is a positioning towards Him, a place of intimacy. We position ourselves to seek and commune with face of God and REST. It is not distant because through Christ, He is no longer afar off. Our Savior has drawn near and made a way into the Holy of holies, God's presence. Just like Simeon, we can gaze and see salvation in the face of Christ and it brings rest.
Rest is the gift. It is unexplicable and leaves one without words, completely at peace, feeling safe and loved, protected, and accepted. This is beautiful and satisfying prayer. Gazing at the face of a Savior, in love with Him, speechless in His Holy presence, thankful beyond expression for His forgiveness, this is the best soul gift.
Take time to meditate on His face. Enter into His presence with joy and thanksgiving, let your mind paint Simeon's moment and imagine without words your eternal salvation- Jesus.
Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest. –Jesus (Matthew 11:28)
REMINDER- NEXT THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8TH AT 10PM EST THE PRAYER LINE WILL START. Tell someone about it who needs prayer. Here is the link to the phone number, access code, and a little bit about the prayer time- https://www.freeconferencecall.com/wall/talktogodprayerline
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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!"