Wanting some inspiration in your prayer closet? Been doing a series on Psalm 23 in our podcast! Today is episode 3 of 9! The picture below represents yesterday's interactive session where you are led to pray through 11 names/titles of God in Psalm 23! I hope you give a listen to this series, there is so much depth of love, wisdom, and promise from our Good Shepherd... all SUPERNATURAL!
It's summer, press in! Take moments for spiritual retreat with God for peace and transformation!
Here is how this series has started!
Tranquil Tues- Psalm 23 #1 - 4 minutes by a stream with Jesus
Worship Wed- Psalm 23 #2- Praying through 11 titles of God
Thoughtful Thurs (today) #3- Psalm 23- Gentle listening and repeating of Psalm 23
Friend Fri- Psalm 23 #4- Prayer over you "My Shepherd, my friend"
Find all episodes and links to Peace Be Still on your podcast app via our host link- https://www.spreaker.com/show/peace-be-still-daily-prayer-download
"Think of the last thing you prayed about, were you devoted to your desire or to God? Was your determination to get some gift of the Spirit for yourself or to get to God? "For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him." (Matthew 6:8). The reason for asking is so you may get to know God better. "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4). We should keep praying to get a perfect understanding of God Himself."
Many of us have experienced real loss over the last year and a half. And in that loss there is grief. But is it a grief we acknowledge to ourselves, to God?
I've talked and prayed for a good handful of people who have men in their life who, over the last year or so, have been overcome by anxiety, who are shut down and inaccessible. Their loved ones are afraid, and do not know what to do.
God knows all about the hidden, suppressed, overwhelming grief. Interestingly, during my "career" (really a call) of interceding for others, one of the most consistent messages that the Holy Spirit impresses upon me is that many of His people are grieving, and need to come into His presence for healing. This requires openness in His presence and being vulnerable with God.
But will you do that? (Pause and consider.) When is the last time you went to your Heavenly Father and shared your sorrow with him? Are you always trying to keep it together when you talk to Him?
He wants to comfort you.
Psalm 34:18- The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Healing requires we do not stuff, hide or stop emotion that feels uncomfortable. Some attempt to talk things through with others, and find comfort. Some go to a counselor and find help. Some think a pill is the answer to manage the complexities of their soul. But these all come up short.
There is nothing like being held in the strong and safe arms of Jesus. He has a supply for you that no man knows anything about. He has the power and willingness to supernaturally reach in and heal you in ways no one else can. He puts people back in their right mind. He takes bad memories. He reframes hopelessness. He heals the darkest, most disturbing things that are stealing your peace.
We resist. We need to stop resisting. We need to let down our walls. We need to give Him the opportunity. We need to grieve in His presence. We can bring Him the deepest hurts and He will heal.
I'm not going to take time now to go in depth with my personal story, but know I have experienced deep healings in mind and heart (and body!) through letting God into my grief, I specifically looked to Him as my central resource for deep healing. He promised me He would heal me, and I believed Him. It was not a one and done moment, it took a good couple of years to do some really deep work, but as I tasted each new freedom, from that which held me captive, I was made new with purpose, peace, joy health, wisdom, strength, discernment, etc.. So I have I continued investing in His presence and ways! How can I not? He captured my heart in the process!
He wants to capture yours too!
I encourage you to listen to episode #290 of the Peace Be Still podcast for a similar message and interactive session. He is the God who collects our tears. He knows your pain. He suffered to levels we know nothing about in order to know our pain. Let Him minister to you. Believe! God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Our living God still heals!
Some scriptures on mothers:
Ephesians 6:1-2 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—
Matthew 12:48-50- He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Isaiah 40:11- He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.
Psalm 139:13-14- For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
Proverbs 23:25- May your father and mother rejoice;
may she who gave you birth be joyful!
Titus 2:3-4- Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,
We celebrate mothers today Lord! We're thankful, reflective and wanting our mothers to know we honor them. Help us love them deeply; and wherever there may be strain, lead us to forgive our mothers and love them as directed by you.
We want our mothers to know you and ask that you bless them with a fresh revelation from the Spirit. May they receive holy promise, and be led with your life and power. God we praise you for your perfect design for them to carry new life, deliver, and nurture. May each mother know that you see them, love them, want to bless them.
May we freshly express to our human mothers and spiritual mothers that they are honored for their countless selfless sacrifices, their tender mercies, their protective love, their longing to do the best that they can with what they know. Bless them with your presence God. Reveal yourself to them in their deepest area of need. Let them know you see their tears, understand their worries, connect with their longings for their families, and celebrate their victories.
Lift her face to look at you and be transformed by your love and light.
Pause and agree. "Yes LORD, transform _______ (insert mother's name) by your love and light."
Direct her thoughts to reflect on what is good, holy, and pure.
Help each mother hold on to hope in the midst of storms. To believe nothing shall be impossible with you God. Encourage their hearts that you hear their cries for their families.
Help her cast her cares on you Jesus, to be anxious for nothing but in everything with prayers and persistence to submit her requests to you and then trust. Help her let go for the peace of God that transcends all understanding to guard her heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
Strengthen her with power that comes from the Spirit for every need.
By faith we bless mothers with gifts from on high, for every good and perfect gift comes from above from the Father of Heavenly lights, in whom there is no shadow of turning. We acknowledge Jesus that you have designed mothers to be like a glue that holds the family together. Help them in the daily battle to keep things running smoothly, and to be sustained in the chaos! Encourage her to gather her family for family time, to represent your will and ways to her children and/or grandchildren, to have opportunity to renew herself in body, mind, and spirit. Let her be a beautiful expression of your mercies and power and love and truth to the children under her care. Let her greatest longing as a mom be one of a spiritual mother, intent to instill godly values and promise into the children under her wings.
Sustain and heal families with your power. Keep moms' hearts soft and pliable, open and receptive to your work, will, and Spirit. Let them not become weary in doing good, for they shall reap a harvest in due time. Teach them to cling to you in these days, reminding them that they are your child first and foremost, and they need to be held like a child by you, sustained and helped by you to be the mom they long to be.
Thank you Jesus; for the beauty and transformative work of motherhood. Bless this one as they rise in your graces. Let others notice the beauty that becomes evident after spending this time in your presence. Amen.
Do you know a mom that needs this blessing? Will you please forward this to them? Multiply this prayer to mothers! Today's podcast is a similar prayer exercise to listen in and follow along found here- https://www.spreaker.com/user/12247282/280-friend-fri-a-prayer-of-blessing-for-
Often I have conversations with people about upset and disappointment. And what is always evident is that we as humans skew naturally to the disappointment... to dwell upon it, and then carry it as our form of meditation. We rehearse and rehearse, too often without releasing it regularly on to the shoulders of our burden bearer.
To check that, what are you ruminating on right now? What have you spent much of your week rehearsing? Positive or negative things?
The things that burden us are typically not trivial things, but heart centric things. Maybe we are making mountains out of mole hills in certain circumstances; but more than likely, our upset can be traced to deeper issues related to betrayal of trust, unforgiveness, disappointment, pride, lies, hurt, etc.
Here are some examples of what people have recently confessed to me, that is consuming them:
- a teenager who told her mom that she is bi-sexual and a satanist
- a woman who is consumed with anxiety that her senior mother's life depends on her sustaining her mom
- an adult who is caught in the middle of lifelong friends who cannot resolve their philosophical differences, so now their friendship circle is broken
- an adult son who has so much conflict with his mother that he wants nothing to do with her, but is wrestling with that choice within and its causing great anxiety
- an adult who wonders why God allowed 3 different big disappointments within the last month
- an adult who is grieving a death of a loved one, while also discovering upsetting secrets of another loved one
We are carrying burdens, deep, heart centric burdens. Instead of rehearsing them constantly, we need to give ourselves a break and just enjoy Jesus! We rehearse too much! We need to process in His presence. But practice positioning in rest so He can speak peace to still the storm!
Do not draw away from Him in trial, let it lead to personal transformation through His supply of resurrection power! That is not a platitude, it is a promise. And it is discovered in His presence!
And BONUS... it can be done without words! You can do this by visualizing spiritual promises from the Bible. No words needed, just a willingness to "see" the pictures Jesus paints in His word.
Jesus tells us to cast our care upon Him, 1 Peter 5:7. What if you saw Him carrying what you are trying to carry right now?
He understands. See Jesus carrying it. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you form images in your mind. In inexplicable ways, the Holy Spirit will do supernatural lifting of burdens within as you release them to Jesus. I hope you try the following exercise.
A VISUALIZATION EXERCISE:
Isaiah 61:1-3 has a handful of pictures for you to use in His presence without words. Pick one from below, and then place yourself in a humble position in His presence. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you as you begin. "God I need help visualizing Jesus' promises, bring them to life within my mind's eye."
The unbelief in you might be tempted to say, "That's ridiculous, how will it help me to picture any of these? As soon as I get up, my reality will be unchanged and the stress will remain."
Cast down that argument. Hold your thoughts captive to the promises of Christ. He says, "Look to me. Do not doubt, only believe. Set your eyes on things above, not on earthly things. Ascend."
Believe in the power of God! Believe in His spiritual promises! Be blessed in your time with God! If you want to experience more visualization of scripture, please listen in every Tuesday to Peace Be Still Daily prayer download! Listenership continues to grow! Praise God!
Here are a few direct links to our Monday - Friday podcast:
The program can also be found on Amazon Music, Podbean, iHeart, Google podcasts, Castbox, etc. Blessings!
Colossians 1:17 says that Jesus holds all things together. All things includes you. What needs to be held together in you today? Emotions, thoughts, the ability to cope?
Jesus will comfort, strengthen, and supernaturally assist you as you cry out for his help. Listen in to today's podcast episode and be prayed for, or read prayer below. The prayer in the podcast is similar but has some spontaneous expressions. Respond to the simple prompts as led for sweet and satisfying time with Jesus! 💞
Prayer exercise: Jesus will hold you. Let’s pray.
Jesus we come to you expecting. We come with a simple cry of “Lord I desperately need you to hold me together.”
Tell Jesus that right now.
Thank you for holding this one Jesus. May they sense you near.
You are our source of hope and life and new beginnings. Your mercies are new every morning. You forgive. Each prayer is an opportunity for a new start. Great is your faithfulness. Thank you for your tender mercies, thank you for letting this one know in their weakness that your grace is sufficient for them, your power is made perfect in their weakness.
Build a habit in them God to confess their weaknesses to you for your power to manifest. Your grace is sufficient, your power is made perfect in our weakness.
You are the God who sees us and gave all of yourself for us.
Let this one know that you see them. Lift their spiritual eyes to see you, to respond to you. Where are they weary God, where do they need a fresh revelation to turn sorrow into joy? Show them how the pressures that lead to breaking are part of the process of being made new. Soften their hearts towards the presence and work of the Holy Spirit right now.
Holy spirit come…. (repeat to yourself)
Breathe new life Jesus.
Hold them together in your strength, draw them near.
Agree. “Yes Jesus, draw near to me.”
Holy Spirit speak into their need, whatever it may be. (Give silence…)
Counsel them in their relationships, grant them wisdom in their decisions, sanctify them with your word. May they be responsive to your gentle correction and discern your still small voice.
Thank you Jesus for holding this one together in your power. May that be their continual confession, “Hold me together Jesus. I need you.” Amen.
Do you know someone who needs to know that Jesus will hold them together in love? Without shame and condemnation? Please share this blog post with them! Blessings!
Today being Good Friday, we’ll look upon Jesus’ suffering, because the punishment that was upon him brings us peace, and by his wounds we are healed, Isaiah 53:5.
One of the most beautiful promises Jesus brings us is a promise to renew our mind, to calm, soothe, and still our emotions. Jesus puts us back in our right mind. It is a continual renewal of thoughts that he promises. It is experienced through remaining with Him. But everything is not always up and to the right as Christians. We struggle. It’s a clue indicating our critical need to deepen in relationship with Jesus. In Western culture, anxiety was at epidemic proportions prior to the pandemic, so what now? Of course, it has increased. No need to quote statistics, we are living it out, we know anxiety has increased.
Does Jesus care? Does He understand the anxiety that overwhelms? Yes, he does and we find clues of his extreme mental and emotional distress when we read the accounts of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane before he goes to the cross. The book of Mark and Matthew inform us that Jesus admits to his disciples that his soul is overwhelmed to the point of death. The book of Mark tells us that he fell to the ground and prayed. He didn’t kneel and pray, he fell to the ground. Both Mark and Matthew tell us he agonized for a long time in prayer, praying 3 different times, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” The book of Luke reveals that he was sweating profusely in this agonizing time of prayer, and was so disturbed within, it triggered a rare physiological condition where he sweat blood. The condition is called hematidrosis and is extremely rare, with only a handful of documented cases. All who experienced it were victims of extreme mental and emotional trauma and terrifying violence.
Piece all those Gospel clues together. Jesus falls to the ground, a sign of physical weakness from overwhelming internal turmoil. He agonizes in prayer 3 different times through the night. He is not getting a good night’s sleep before going to the cross. He is running on no sleep. And though an angel comes to strengthen him, Luke records that after, he was still in anguish, Luke 22:44. Jesus kept praying, and doing so even more earnestly. In this state, he was sweating profusely, his sweat mixed with drops of blood, the drops falling to the ground.
When you piece the Gospel accounts together, can you see how clear it is that Jesus was experiencing mental and emotional distress at a level no one else ever will? Your worst panic attack? Your soul crushing depression? Jesus knows. He went there. He bore the burden. He experienced it all. He carried the weight of it all upon Himself and took all human brokenness, all sin, all shame, all sickness to the cross.
In the midst of this distress, Jesus gives his disciples a prayer challenge, “Could you not keep watch for one hour?" He was worried for them, urging his disciples to watch and pray so they would not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. He knew the spiritual traps coming to test Peter. He had just told Simon Peter after the Passover meal, "Satan has asked to sift you like wheat", Luke 22:31.
Peter's saving grace was that Jesus prayed for Peter's faith not to fail, Luke 22:32. Praise God today that He is your continual intercessor...
Hebrews 7:25- "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them."
Are you sleeping? Tell God, confess your weaknesses. Wait in the mercy of His presence. Call on help from the Holy Spirit if you do not know what to pray, Romans 8:26-27.
Peter and the other disciples slept despite the warnings. And the consequences are immediately obvious. Peter responds in the flesh at the first temptation, acting violently, pulling his sword and cutting off the ear of the high priest’s servant who come to seize Jesus, Mark 14:47. Jesus however responds in the Spirit, taking the man’s ear and putting it back on his head, fully restoring his ear, Luke 22:51.
Flesh versus Spirit! What a difference in terms of outcome, Romans 8:6!
Let the example of Jesus urging his disciples to watch and pray challenge you to take some quiet time. Assess. What is the state of your walk with Jesus today? Are you prayed up? Are you in the flesh or in the Spirit? Take all anxiety and internal upset to Jesus to be strengthened by Him. He understands your anxiety. He's endured on your behalf. He promises to comfort you. Practice staying longer in His presence, resting under the covering of His precious blood shed on the cross. Please visit our podcast page to find some inspiration to linger longer with God. Amen.
(Into the Waters Ministry, Inc resources the earnest, helping them linger longer with God, to draw near and know Christ. Now more than ever, we need to know Christ and practice settling our souls in His presence, anchoring in His promises. Will you help us expand reach and impact? Listenership for our Peace Be Still prayer podcast is steadily growing! So many more can benefit! Please consider a donation! Help us match the $1K per month challenge pledge! Every donation is a blessing! Thank you for considering it. Now on to today's interactive Advent exercise...)
This is the 10th exercise released over the last 10 days for the Advent season! Find the interactive prayer exercises on the podcast tab or click above to find the podcast on Apple podcasts! Below is the content of today's Peace Be Still episode if you prefer to read it to engage. Blessings!
Hello Gina from Into the Waters, welcome to Peace Be Still and this Advent season! It’s Friend Friday, a time to experience the presence and person of Jesus Christ, Immanuel, with us is God. Isaiah 7:14 says the LORD himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Let’s call upon His Name today.
Yesterday’s episode shared in the prayer portion that Isaiah wrote those prophetic words 700 years before Jesus was born. We see those words reappear in Matthew 1. An angel of the LORD appears to Joseph telling him not to be afraid, but to take Mary as his wife, because the child within her is from the Holy Spirit; he should be named Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. And then it says that "all of these supernatural events took place to fulfill what the LORD has said through the prophet Isaiah: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means “God with us.”
Jesus, God with us, fulfilled that prophecy as he ministered on the earth, and continues to fulfill that prophecy for you today. God is with you. Deuteronomy 31:6 is a promise from Jesus in the Old Testament- Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Remember Jesus is timeless, eternal, that Old Testament prophecy is from Jesus himself. We get a glimpse of His eternity and coming from the prophecy in Micah 5:2-
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
Jesus, a leader coming from ancient times,? Yes. NKJV says "Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” The Amplified version clarifies his goings forth saying- His goings forth (appearances) are from long ago, From ancient days.”
The prophet declared God himself was coming! And yet Jesus has always been with His people, from the creation of physical time and space, Jesus has been with us!
So today, let’s proclaim His presence with us. Just position to repeat, affirm, and invite His presence with an open and receptive spirit.
Jesus, you are with me.
I carry your Spirit within me.
Nothing can separate me from your love.
Immanuel, you are with me.
You will never leave me or forsake me.
No one can snatch me out of your hand.
You are with me in the storm.
You speak to the wind and the waves within.
“Peace Be Still.”
You are with me in my fear.
I am not to be terrified or afraid.
You go with me.
You promise to guide me.
Your rod and your staff they comfort me.
Save me from guiding myself.
I need your wisdom.
By your Spirit, whisper wisdom.
Now wait quietly in His presence.
Help me obey your counsel.
Help me surrender to your whispers.
You go before me.
I am not alone.
Jesus, you are with me.
Immanuel... with me is God.
Below is content from today's podcast. It is part of a series on spiritual weapons of warfare. If asked about weapons of warfare, some people give a blank stare, some say it is making reference to the armor of God. However, the armor is not the weapons, it's the armor. Some say our weapon is the WORD of God which is true, but more so on terms of where all the weapons are found. It's plural, not one weapon, but weapons with an "s".
God has given us a powerful arsenal of weaponry. All without blood and gore. The blood has already been let by Him. No He has other weapons we are to use and they lead to life, power, healing, and intimacy with Him. In 2 Chronicles chapter 20 alone, I found 30 weapons of warfare!
Do you think you could name 10 weapons of warfare off the top of your head? Stop right now and try to name 10 spiritual weapons of warfare that are mighty in God for the destruction of strongholds, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
Talking of spiritual weapons of warfare and destruction of strongholds can feel very elusive or like a high-minded philosophical discussion on spiritual matters far beyond our understanding. But this is not to be the case. If you take the time to understand what the LORD is saying, you'll find very practical insights to apply within that lead to freedom and deep healing. Of course this is not to be done alone, but with the help of and in the presence of our safe and Holy friend, Jesus. His friendship is a powerful weapon of warfare to destroy fortified places within us...
For more, this is where I'll transition you to today's podcast content. Read below the line for its content, or to participate by listening and engaging in the interactive prayer exercises, please visit the podcast page to tune into the entire series. You can find Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download on Apple Podcasts, Google podcasts, Iheart radio, Spreaker, Spotify and more. Follow the program on your podcast provider to be notified of new episodes! (Note: The number of listens daily for the podcast started in May continues to grow. We in the ministry are so excited for this holy work of inspiring people to pray! To donate because you believe in our mission, and so we can reach more, please click on the donate button in the column to the right! God bless your generosity!)
PODCAST EPISODE 150- SPIRITUAL WEAPON #6- FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD
Today we are meditating upon the friendship of God. It’s weapon #6 in this series on praying for
victory over fears and negative counsel of the soul. Why is friendship a weapon? The language of
weapon comes from 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. These supernatural weapons have power to bring down
strongholds. Some strongholds require outside forces. And friendship with God is a magnificent
weapon on these terms.
But first, what is a stronghold? Do you have strongholds? Strongholds are fortified places of safety,
arguments and reasonings on which you rely to stay safe. Is this good or bad? Both, but in terms of
being weapons of warfare to bring down strongholds, they are places that must be torn down. These
negative strongholds are set up in the mind, affecting how you present yourself to others and attempt to control outcomes. It is a state of mind where in conscious and unconscious ways you fortify your soul in ways contrary to God.
Here are some examples:
It takes a lot of energy to hold your ground in these fortified spaces within. You alone are the one fighting to keep others out, and it is a long and lonely battle. It’s a battle you are losing at the expense of peace and power and healing God promises.
But we are stubborn and resistant in holding our ground! And we think we can compartmentalize these spaces in such a way that doesn’t affect us. For the most part, if we keep people at safe distances, they know little about our strongholds. Yet they do make up subtle nuances of our personality, only becoming blatantly obvious when anyone gets too close. If anyone does get too close, then look out, because you know how to keep people out. And these are places and spaces and thoughts and feelings that God’s word says that are strongholds. “I’m holding on to my shame.” “I won’t let myself get hurt again”. And “I cannot forgive” is completely contrary to God. These are places that must be destroyed.
And He is the friend, the safe place, the gentle Savior who we can trust to tear down all our arguments and have an open concept design within, a place without walls and barriers within our hearts. He becomes our stronghold and we are set free!
Friendship with God as a weapon is referenced through scripture. But since we are meditating upon 2
Chronicles 20 in this series, related to weapons of warfare, friendship with God is mentioned in verse 7 and is today's weapon.
In verse 7, the king reminds God of the covenant he made with Abraham, whom God called his friend. We see this language of Abraham being God's friend in verse 7. And we too have that privilege of being a friend of God! Jesus says in John 15:15, “I have called you friends, for everything I learned from my Father, I make known to you.” As our friend, Jesus shares his secrets with us! Psalm 25:14 says that the secret friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him. It says the Lord confides in those who fear him, he makes his covenant known to them.
The LORD confiding in you and making his covenant known in the deepest recesses of your soul will set you free from strongholds. He will tear down those walls of shame, fear, anger, unforgiveness,
He wants to confide in you! He wants to reveal the riches of His covenant in ways that set you free,
heal, redeems, makes new. I was with a friend this week who recounted a recent time that God spoke one word to her that transformed her whole perspective. It was about a stronghold of control. As she continued to share, out came a supernatural outpouring of wisdom and holy counsel of all she learned just from that one word from her holy friend Jesus! I said, “Wow, you got all of that from just one word from Jesus?” “Yes!” We laughed and marveled at the goodness and power that comes from just one word Jesus speaks to our soul!
So today, do not resist our Holy friend. Consider how your strongholds manifest today. What are you
compartmentalizing? How are you keeping him out, choosing instead to fortify your position? By
arguing with God or others? Are you stuffing your feelings by numbing them say with food, by over-eating? Do you have passive aggressive tendencies? Are you withdrawing or hiding from those closest to you? Jesus can be trusted.
He is safe. You won’t know the truth until you surrender and trust Him. And the simplest way to start is to talk openly and honestly with Him as friend. “Jesus, every time I feel vulnerable or anxious, I am
reaching for food.” “Jesus, I don’t think anyone will ever really love me. So I am keeping busy to avoid intimacy. Or I am reading romance novels to get what I need or I am watching “x” to feel what I long for. I’m keeping you out of these places.”
Confide. It’s powerful. Life changing. It will destroy the arguments draining you of life, of power.
Use this quiet time to ask Jesus to tear down strongholds within. “Jesus tear down my strongholds. Ask Jesus, what are my strongholds? Set me free.”
(Note in the podcast, a gentle instrumental plays at the end for a short, but quiet time to pray that prayer above and enjoy His friendship.)
My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.—Psa. 63:8
I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain. - AW Tozer, “The Pursuit of God”
We need to wake up. All is not yet over in this uncomfortable season that we are in. As AW Tozer wrote over 50 years ago, God is waiting to be wanted. In this season, is He waiting for us in vain?
What are we waiting for? For things to go back to normal? For routine? Eating out? Socializing? Entertaining? Attending events? Traveling? Shopping? All life activities that are normal, but in no means necessary. Have you replaced some of that time with a fresh pursuit of God?
What if our pursuit of God played critical part of transforming brokenness into God's glory?
2 Chronicles 7:14- if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land
Humbling ourselves. Taking initiative. Our soul following HARD after him...
Yesterday I started the day uploading a podcast I had recorded the day before. Then after, I went for a walk using it to spur me on for the day. I spent 45 minutes listening to God’s word, proclaiming God’s word, praying God’s word for myself and others. Before you think I am patting myself on the back, wait for what happened next.
I went home and ate breakfast. I changed clothes, and headed out for a simple task to get my vehicle inspected because it was due. Yes, I waited to the last day of the month. However, my check engine light had been on for weeks and I was hoping it would go off. When I had gotten into the Jeep that morning it was off! So just in time! Just in time for a spiritual test...
What I thought was going to be an easy task, ate up my whole day. For the first place I went, 3 bays were opened with cars in line. I was one of them. After about 15 minutes, I noticed a bay on the end, the only one that had a BIGGGGG banner across it that said "NY state inspections". Since it was an oil change place, I figured that they had that special bay just for inspections... so as to not interrupt efficient flow of getting cars in and out for oil changes. So I moved from my position; and went partially into that bay to ask. No sooner do I do this, and a man with a stern look comes into the bay and starts waving his arms in upset for me to leave the bay. I open my window and attempt to tell him I just needed an inspection and he barks out, “Get in line with everyone else.” I told him that I was in line before; but since there was a sign on this bay for inspections… He talks over me, cuts me off and says “unless I own the building, I should not be driving into the bay without first being ushered in”. I was shocked. Clearly he took great offense at what I had done, and refused to listen to my reasoning. He stayed intense, and began motioning with his arms, using airplane controller type movements to silence me and get me to back out of the partial entry I made into the bay.
Well. I could not believe how rude he was! So I thought, “Forget you. I’m leaving.” I didn’t want to be serviced there. I took offense at him taking offense. So off I went to find another place and the next places required appointments. So much for trying to stay close to home. I decided to go to my normal place 20 minutes away. Upon arriving, same backlog of cars for bays. I was told it would be a wait of a couple of hours. Okay.
Long story short, 3 hours pass, during which time I leave and walk across to Wegmans. I come back when its finished, only to check out to be wrongly charged for something they were to do (tire rotation), but didn’t do, but said they did. I see my paperwork on the seat, read that they didn’t do it, bring back my receipt for a refund and the confusion ensues for an additional 10 minutes. In the confusion I find myself short-tempered with them for arguing with me when they themselves typed the note into the system of not completing the work, which is also clearly on my paperwork.
The manager admits he forgot it, which I do believe was sincere. But then they couldn’t figure out how to refund the money. At this point of the day, I have lost my patience and let them know I cannot continue to stay, to please figure it out and call me when it is done.
Why am I detailing all of this? Because this was a wake-up call to me. I spent a good portion of the previous night in a 1 hour prayer walking session, then an hour interceding for the nation later on, then waking up to another prayer walk for an hour. I was very disturbed with lack of Spirit led response.
I knew that I did not extend grace to the manager who was being kind to me, but he was just overwhelmed with how busy they were. He was clearly the one trying to help, apologizing for the mistake, and even though he couldn’t figure out how to refund me, was indeed trying to resolve it. Plus, I knew that at the time I was leaving they had about 10-12 cars lined up in 3 bays all waiting for hours. He was under tremendous pressure, and I knew it was like this for them all day.
So I dealt with myself. I had a good talking to myself and with God. I was not a jerk to them, but I was impatient and had let the earlier situation get me stewing and upset. I had opportunity to speak and act in a way to reveal Jesus; but didn’t.
Just as soon as I was finishing up talking to God about this and evaluating myself, the manager calls and says he worked it out reversing the incorrect charge. I had a much different frame of mind after repentance and was kinder, and expressed empathy. He ended the call by adding he would not charge me for the inspection either because he felt badly about the inconvenience and time. And invited me to come back another time, so he could look at my tires for free, and figure out how to get the stuck lug nuts off and complete the work.
Again, why do I tell you all of this? Because folks we are in different times. And people are easily set off; and as a Christian we must have a spirit of self-control and a grace and mercy that stands out. If I am in prayer all that time, yet letting the fact that things happened that ate up my whole day, and then snuffing out my light, how great of a witness am I? This is not a time to be stewing within. It's not a time to be demanding. We may have to take some hits. We may have to be like Jesus right now. Yes. It's time. Let's be like Jesus, no offense. I am saying that to myself and praying for the Spirit's work in me.
He answers. More time in prayer, more time with God makes us much more self-aware. Why? The Spirit is answering our prayers to make us more like Jesus. If you want a "less of me, more of you" exercise, try episode #84 podcast from last week. Found at this link, just scroll down to the episode.
Anybody who would have observed me yesterday might say, “What’s the big deal? Anyone would have been annoyed.” That’s not the point. The point is revival within. I'm not to be anybody. I am to be a reflection of Christ. And it is so desperately needed in me, it is so desperately needed in you. It is a time to walk with the peace of Christ and reveal Him.
As we approach the elections, you can be sure more chaos is around the corner. Chaos and anarchy have not yet subsided really. It is still abounding in some cities. Murder rates are rising at alarming rates in New York, Chicago and other areas. Lawlessness is breaking out. 30 million people just had their unemployment benefits end. People are on edge and easily perturbed like I experienced at my first stop yesterday.
We need a wake up call to the times still. Would you say Christians are awake? Are we in revival mode? Or are we just in a mode of frustration or complacency wanting for things to go back to normal? It’s not going back to normal. And in it all, God is waiting to be wanted. He is waiting for a fire in our belly to burn for Him.
He can intervene. He can heal. He can turn things around. He can revive us. But it begins with you. It begins with me. Non-essential activity vs essential activity. Strip down to essentials…
“If we would find God amid all the religious externals we must first determine to find Him, and then proceed in the way of simplicity. Now as always God discovers Himself to "babes" and hides Himself in thick darkness from the wise and the prudent. We must simplify our approach to Him. We must strip down to essentials (and they will be found to be blessedly few). We must put away all effort to impress, and come with the guileless candor of childhood. If we do this, without doubt God will quickly respond.” AW Tozer- The Pursuit of God
Give yourself a wake up call. Assess if you are in a mode of revival or not. Is the Spirit thriving in you? Are you in hot pursuit? Is God enough?
If you want to go further in reading AW Tozer and the spiritual challenges he brings to bear, it might help in your wake-up call. You can find it offered FREE from the Gutenburg project at this link- https://www.gutenberg.org/files/25141/25141-h/25141-h.htm
I highly recommend it. I am re-reading it myself.
Otherwise, I have continued to release podcasts Monday-Friday. I will highlight yesterday’s. It is a 10 minute proclamation of blessing that you agree and proclaim. Try using it while walking! Listen to it more than once. Let the truth of God’s blessings penetrate, take ownership of them! Wake the sleeping giant within! He’s waiting to be wanted!
Yesterday was part 1 of a podcast series on Hannah, a Hebrew hero of the faith who lived in 11th century BC. She endured years of persecution and shame, yet never lost faith in God. Her prayers were earnest and her vows holy. Next week, the series will end looking at her warrior song which foretold of the coming Messiah!
Hannah was a woman after God’s own heart. She is distinguished as one of the great women God chose to bear a son to lead his people as a prophet of renown. Her heart is one I marvel at, one who returned her miracle back to God! Her account is found in 1 Samuel 1 and 2.
She was not a woman of offense. She respected authority, even when they were wrong about her.
What would your response be if you went to church, were in the midst of passionately praying to the LORD when a pastor approaches you and accuses you of being drunk. This is how Eli the priest treated Hannah. Scripture says she was praying in her heart and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli had been watching her lips move; but no words coming out. He approaches and says “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”
In our day of offense, how quickly might we rise up with attitude and tell everyone about it after? "He thought I was drunk!" Yet Hannah is respectful in reply, “Not so, my lord I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
Eli backs down and answers , “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
Hannah was humble and considered herself merely a maidservant.
In a world of #metoo, does Hannah offend you? Do you see her as weak or strong?
She humbly says goodbye to Eli without offense, “May your maidservant find favor in your eyes.”
Scripture then says, she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. Early the next morning she and her husband arise and worship one more time before the Lord before going back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”
She prioritized worship and gave God everything, including her miracle!
Another season comes to go up and worship the LORD. Hannah remembers her vow and tells her husband that after she finishes weaning Samuel she will take him so that he may appear before the LORD and remain there forever.
Think about that. I have never given birth so cannot really know how selfless and painful that would have been to give your only child into the service of God. He was so little besides! Ancient Hebrew women would wean their children from the breast at around 3 years old. What can a 3 year old do in the temple? Well, it turns out that provision was made for males 3 years old and older, for those who served in the temple. This is referenced in 2 Chronicles 31:16. In our world though, it seems unthinkable to bring a 3 year old into God’s house for him to start serving. Not to be catered to; but to start serving God!
As you may be considering returning to your house of worship in this pandemic, is your heart in a position to serve or be served?
Hannah released her miracle... her promise into God’s hands for the service of God’s house!
This is awesome.
Releasing a promise into God’s hands for service in God’s house.
Releasing a promise into God’s hands for service in his house.
I may not have a child to give. You may not have a child to give. But we have been given the Son of God and so have promises that God has given us through His miracle of life within us. We can return these things into God’s hands for service that brings glory to His name.
God calls us to be living sacrifices. We are the little Samuel’s. We are to give ourselves into His service. And to do so with joy and thankfulness! Hannah returned with her whole heart, bringing not just Samuel but bringing 3 bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought sin offerings, thank offerings, and a drink offering which was an aroma pleasing to the LORD. She returned not withholding anything; but giving God everything as gift!
Am I withholding anything? Are you withholding anything from God? Your children? Your time? Your plans? Your finances? Your will? Your spiritual gifts? Ask Him to help you release all things into His hands. God blessed Hannah. Scripture says He visited her after, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters after Samuel! He multiplied the miracle! We can't out-give God! Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the LORD.
Consider what you might have. Even if merely broken pieces of bread, a few fish, even if just a widow’s mite. What it is doesn’t matter. The percentage of you of being all in for God does. Hannah gave 100%. The widow gave 100%. 100% for Him. 100% invested in His house and kingdom. 100% worship. Let Hannah’s heart inspire you into greater reliance and relationship with Jesus.
Let me pray for you. Agree with me as I pray-
"Lord you are 100% for us. Thank you Lord for visiting with this one. Let Hannah’s example rest in their mind and heart, may it cleanse and purify their desires. Renew them LORD, inspire them to return as living sacrifice, for your glory and kingdom. Help them realign any area of their life and prioritize you above all things. Bless and allow this one to miraculously conceive and supernaturally bear fruit for your glory! Returning to the house of the LORD with hands full of thankfulness, worship, service! May they return the miracle of life you have deposited within them to the praise and honor of your Name! Amen!"
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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!"