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!"
Hello and Happy Friday, this is Gina from Into the Waters. And today is a day to pray for you! (Note: You can read the content below or you can listen to it in today's podcast found on our podcast tab above. Or search for it on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Spreaker!)
Earlier today in the Peace Be Still's Private Group Facebook page, opened a prayer room through Facebook’s new “room” option. Prayed for a few folks! Prayed for some others in different settings as well, through church and also friends. I’ve missed praying for people in person; but certainly, there is no poverty of options when it comes to connecting to pray for someone AND sharing it with them!
After I pray for you, I hope you will take time to pray for another! Write it out, text it over, post it to their wall, send a recording of you praying from them. Maybe surprise a Christian friend, a leader from your church, some faithful servant of God who would be greatly encouraged to receive a message from you of God’s love and mercy in the form of prayer!
I pray for a fresh expression of the light of Christ to be shed abroad in your heart, filling you with a new measure of love and eternal hope, given by the Holy Spirit who is in you from God. (Romans 5:5)
I pray that you would abound in comfort from Christ. That you would know God as the Father of compassion and God of all comfort, who will comfort you in all your troubles, so you that can comfort others. ( 2 Cor 1:3-5)
I pray for you to experience the Shalom of God, peace that leads to wholeness, completeness, and soundness of mind. Be blessed with His peace which surpasses understanding, guarding your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7).
I pray for you to receive strength from on high, that he would make your feet like the deer, enabling you to tread upon spiritual heights, reaching high places to the glory of God. (Habakkuk 3:19)
I pray for you to experience the love of Christ though it is too great to understand fully, that you would be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God, made complete by all the life and power that comes from God. (Ephesians 3:19)
I pray for your consolation in any mourning, for you to carry your ashes of disappointment, failure, broken dreams to God to receive a crown of beauty, the oil of His joy, instead of a spirit of despair. (Isaiah 61:3)
I pray for you to have knowledge of His will through all wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, that you would live a life worthy of God, pleasing Him in every way, growing in the knowledge of God and being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great patience and endurance. (Colossians 1:9-11)
I pray for you to be humble in heart, so that in due time Christ will exalt you. (James 4:10)
I pray for the Spirit of the LORD to be upon you, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, that your delight should always be in a holy and reverent fear of the LORD. (Isaiah 11:2-3)
May you pray this forward and bless another! Share with a friend!
I haven't posted in awhile, mostly because doing the podcast Monday though Friday is a challenge, especially when working a part-time job on Mondays and Tuesdays. But feeling purposed through it and encouraged! Over 500 listens in the first month. And lately average daily listens are increasing. I have received only very positive comments about it as a prayer resource and that it is speaking to hearts. If you haven't listened yet, please give a couple episodes a try. It can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, and on the PODCAST tab above. If you want info on any episode before listening, simply click on the little grey circle with the "i" in the middle of it. It will bring a pop-up window with episode detail. As of today, there are 35 interactive prayer episodes with over 4 1/2 hours of listening! That is a good amount of free prayer inspiration! If the episodes are a blessing to you, please consider a free-will donation. It can be a one-time donation or as a monthly donor.
Why donate? We'd love to be able to market the podcast, but costs are easily at $250 per ad through Spotify or other similar podcast sites. We have some technology upgrades to make also. You can help spread the word too! Word-of-mouth is very helpful! And pray for ministry reach! Please share episodes with friends. People may be more receptive than you think!
There are many who are struggling. People are searching for answers. I witness on Quora and the question that has gotten a ton of new activity with over 12K new readers over the last month is, "How many times will God forgive a repeated sin?" People are reflecting on life and death issues. Ask God for greater boldness to witness!
Recently I shared a video on our Facebook page and our private group "Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download". It was a state of our nation's faith video for National Day of Prayer and had 2018 research from The Barna Group. In summary, a majority of the population in the USA (over 70%) still identify as a Christian. Those are encouraging numbers! However, the majority of those Christians have not attended church in over a year. Only 20% had attended at least once in the month of the survey. The fastest growing faith category was "nones", i.e. those who are identifying as having no faith at all. Based on other data Barna shared in the online presentation I attended, there is clear evidence for a need for God's people to return to Him with a generational trend to not believe in the authority of the Bible. We're trending down and away from the God of the Bible.
Which brings me to the question for the post, "How are you doing?" Answers could be all over the map on that, but in general I am definitely crossing paths with people who are increasingly "not ok". The distancing and sudden change of life routine has sent shock waves into their thoughts and emotions. I shared in the last post (found here) some scriptures that the Lord has put on my heart during times of intercession, to ask God for direction on how to pray. I hope you read the scriptures posted and reflect on the consistent, cohesive message within those scriptures. There is a shaking mentioned in Hebrews chapter 12 to consider as a big idea for Christians to discern, as is 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Matthew Chapter 6. He will shake so that what remains cannot be shaken. His end goal is a faith rooted in Him that cannot be shaken!
God's calling us to "reset, pause, prioritize, return to Him as first love". Returning and prioritizing God is a choice. Are your life choices more of a consideration lately?
Joshua 24: 14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
What is God challenging you to "put away"? What things of the world so consume your time and thoughts and energy and money? If our house is in order, praise God! We have chosen well! And we are reaping the blessing of stealing away to spend time with Him and receive comfort in our troubles, nourishment for our soul.
The word I am hearing for you as I type this blog is "disconnect". What do you need to disconnect from in order to prioritize God, to return to God as first love? Take that challenge. Take it to God. Confess weakness and any waywardness. Use Psalm 116 verses 1-9 as inspiration with prompts as noted...
I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.
- Tell him you love him.
Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.
- See Him turning to listen as you pray.
The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.
- Reflect on your life before God's grace.
Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, save me!"
- Remember the simple gift of calling on the name of the LORD
The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
- Tell him who He is.
The LORD protects the simple-hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.
- Humble yourself, approach him in childlike simplicity
Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.
- Speak to your soul, remind yourself of how good God has been to you.
For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
- Rejoice in the life to come, no more sorrow, no more tears.
that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
- Discern the times. Time is short. Order your life towards heavenly reality.
Be blessed in your private time with the Father in your prayer closet! Simply shut the door behind you and pray.
Hi folks! Things have been very busy with ministry! Still producing a daily prayer podcast, have begun a new private Facebook group, and have held some private meditation sessions! Had a men's group a couple of weeks ago. Also have an upcoming group session this week. God is good!
The video above is a welcome video I shared in the group to welcome new members. We have over 225 members for the first week! It's very encouraging! I think it is a sign that people are making more time for prayer and obviously are being driven to engage online because of current circumstances with social distancing.
In the video I share a welcome to new members as well as personal testimony of God supernaturally healing me of depression. I hope you listen in.
For the Facebook group, Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download is a private group and requires an invite for you or you can request to join. I hope you consider it, there have been good engagement so far. There is a link at the end of the video to find the group on Facebook. Otherwise just search for "Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download" on Facebook.
Now related to current situation of the virus, during times of intercession, here are some scriptures that God has been putting on my heart over the last month:
It would be interesting for you to read through those scriptures and see what the LORD speaks to you. It's an excellent time to develop a deeper walk with the LORD. I wonder how He has been speaking to you during this time? If you are willing, let me know in the comments!
Here is the content of Podcast 15 if you want to review it first and then listen.
Episode 15- “she judged him faithful… he gave glory to God”
Hello my name is Gina, your prayer partner from Into the Waters. Our promise that brings peace today comes from Philippians 4:13- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Let’s pray as we begin. “Lord Jesus, I humbly ask for your power to rest on each one as they listen. Open their ears to hear, open their eyes to see, give them the ability to understand what the Spirit of the LORD wants to say to them today. Position them by faith to believe and judge you as faithful.”
Yesterday’s episode shared that for God to be your strength means he is a PLACE of strength. As your place of strength, he is a hiding place for you, and one who pours out his strength by dispatching supernatural forces to surround you and deliver you. If you haven’t yet listened, please listen to yesterday. But for today, instead of the focus of him surrounding us with his power, the focus is his miraculous strength pouring out through you."
Listen to these scriptures- You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Cor 4:7
Though you are merely a clay vessel which is fragile and powerless, yet the excellence of his power and strength is to be shown through you… as being from God, not yourself.
Who really believes this? Who really believes the miraculous power of God will be poured out through their frailty? A woman named Sarah did.
Hebrews 11:11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.
By faith… big words. She judged God faithful, more really big words.
If we are honest, they are so challenging.
Write down this question. What is the state of my faith? How am I judging God right now, as faithful or unfaithful?
Some seasons our faith is great with full faith in God. In others, we waver.
We are in a difficult season right now due to the virus. God wants us to position by faith, and judge him faithful.
How are you judging God right now, as faithful or unfaithful? Make a note to talk to God about that. Unburden and ask for revelation so that you judge Him correctly.
Because when you judge God as faithful and by faith believe, God will do amazing things through you. Scripture says that Abraham (Sarah’s husband and known as the father of our faith) grew strong in His faith as He gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised.
Abraham had excellent opinion of God and his faith grew strong as He gave God glory.
The promise of God’s miracle working power being poured out through you is only activated by faith and good opinion of God. Abraham and Sarah had a clear vision and promise from God. So for this kind of miraculous experience, you have to have a promise from God. It has to be personal to you. Sarah had a promise from God. She would give birth at a time in her life when her womb was dead. She judged God faithful to deliver. She laughed at first; then she tried to make it happen on her own power; but somewhere along the way, she stopped reasoning and she believed. So, He poured his miraculous strength into Sarah and supernaturally enabled her to give birth to a promised son at the ripe old age of 90 years old.
Many of us also laugh at the absurd thought God could do something miraculous through us. Often we may grab a promise; but then attempt receive it by striving in our own power. Somewhere along the way we need to stop reasoning and believe in the supernatural strength of God manifesting in us.
Write down this question. What promise has God given you that requires His power?
Here are some promises that are yours by faith in Jesus- You are adopted and heir to the kingdom of God. You are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms. Do you see yourself there? Do you see yourself seated with Christ? You have been given the authority of Christ Jesus, the maker of Heaven and earth. He is King of kings. You are part of his royal lineage. Do you see a crown on your head? He has promised to give you a crown of beauty instead of ashes. Are you holding ashes of death or do you see yourself as crowned in beauty? You are charged by Christ to do greater works than he did. He will do whatever you ask in His name so that Jesus can continue to bring glory to the Father. You are his masterpiece created in Christ Jesus to do good works that he planned long ago for you to do. Do you believe you will do greater works than Jesus? Boy is that a challenging one. Yet he said it. Do you believe it? You are Jesus’ friend. You have been made whole in Jesus Christ. With God as your shepherd, you lack nothing, not one thing. You are more than a conqueror through him who loves you. Since God is for you, who can be against you? You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are the apple of his eye. You are forgiven. You are chosen by God, holy and dearly loved. Your soul is sealed by the Holy Spirit he has deposited in you. Your life is now hidden with Christ in God. You are precious in His sight. Your life is not your own, you’ve been bought with a price. Have you surrendered? Not your will, but his will? It is key to receiving supernatural strength.
As an exercise for deeper meditation, which of those promises I just read struck you? Find your promise. There are over 3K promises in the bible. After you find your promise, position by faith!
That gives you a sense of an episode if you haven't listened yet! God rewards those who earnestly seek Him. He provides for those who seek first the Kingdom of God. Seek God first! Blessings on any who take that time with God. Hope some of the prayer inspiration we are offering is a blessing also!
Excited to introduce "Peace Be Still!" Our daily prayer podcast!
Into the Waters has introduced an interactive prayer podcast! Often in surveys, participants indicate they would like a way to experience interactive prayer exercises from the sessions on their own. The podcast is one way for that to happen. You can get a taste of the scripture reflections, interactive lessons, breath prayers, and biblical meditations that make up longer sessions.
As well, the Coronavirus really provided the impetus behind it's sudden start. The effects the virus is having on our daily lives is to be producing spiritual urgency to draw near to God. It definitely has given me a jolt, a resoluteness to implore people to draw near to the Lord! I hope you are feeling that urgency from the Spirit!
Last week, email subscribers got an introductory email from me for the first 4 podcasts. Since then, 5 more episodes have been released. Note, there is a new tab on the website for the podcast. Click here to access, just scroll down that page and hit the play button for each episode. It is also available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Castbox, Please save it as a favorite on your podcast player so you receive notifications of new episodes! Have received excellent feedback so far! Would love to hear your feedback on it also! Please post a review wherever you may listen!
As introduction, review the summaries of each episode released so far:
Believing this new resource will be a true blessing and gift that will inspire you to linger longer with God in prayer, to draw near and know Christ!
Into the Waters Ministry is a 501c3 ministry and is supported by free-will offerings. Please consider making a donation to help us produce and distribute our interactive prayer resources. Blessings!
Often when praying with and for people, scripture is central to the language of my prayers. And anytime I hear anyone pray scripture, it strikes my heart! When spoken by a humble heart, they are powerful! I hear God's authority present. God's Words are the way to Spirit filled prayers. God's Word tells us to pray in the Spirit at all times, Ephesians 6:18. Memorizing scripture is a way to pray His Word. It is a form of meditating on it. Praying in the Spirit is a natural outcome!
The group gathering on Saturday 1/25 for the "WORD OF GOD" session will be praying in the Spirit this way! It's a good size group at this point, so hope you can join the next session! Until then, practice memorizing! Consider the following, and then try the exercise below:
Also, scripture with repeating language can be an easy way to start with the 6 steps. Here is Matthew 7:24–27 as an example. It repeats many phrases. Follow step 1-6 above. Hints on observing the details, step #3, are listed below. Give it a try! Let me know if it works for you!
So 2020 has begun! A new year, a new decade! There is something about a new year that does stir one to dream and feel motivated for change! We long for God to do a new thing! Has He quickened your spirit in that way? If so, I have some resources for you today that are meant to be easy to incorporate, yet produce meaningful change with renewal and rest.
I started out New Years in a day with the LORD. I haven't had an organized journal of scripture notes for years! Horrified to say so because I have gotten so used to electronic devices! But I miss paper and writing and the slowed pace of it for deeper reflection and critical thinking. So went out the day before and purchased 4 soft cover journals to start fresh! It felt so good!
In my time with God, I did what a lot of people are doing this year, thinking about and asking for a WORD to be a theme. I felt God impress the word "ascend" on my mind and heart. Believe it is not just for myself; but a message to all of those who would accept the challenge to "go up and meet with God". So if you are one who is longing to start the year with a renewed mind under the merciful covering of God, I have created a simple 10 day prayer guide that includes 2 days (day 4 and day 10) of beginning fasting exercises. The prayer exercises last 5 minutes or less; and the fasting exercises offer a lot of flexibility with suggestions. This 10 day challenge is excellent for helping you develop some new prayer language through scripture inspiration. All of the days focus on some meaning of the word "ASCEND" which is also laid out in the 2 page guide. This guide can be done alone; and it is an excellent precursor to the January meditation session scheduled for January 25th at 8am EST. Praying you participate in both!
If you are already signed up to receive our emails, you received the prayer guide that way. But if you are not signed up to receive our emails, just sign up here and I will send you the guide for FREE!
Here are some other scriptures the LORD put on my heart for those of us who would commit to time with Him:
DOUBLE!--- The context of this scripture promise is to those who are in a "waterless" pit. This means that there is a very distressing circumstance or situation that is draining, holding you captive, and possibly due to keeping God at a distance. Here is what God says to you- "Return to the stronghold, You prisoners of hope. Even today I declare That I will restore double to you." -Zechariah 9:12.
EYES OF FAITH TO SEE THE UNSEEN! -- So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone; but the things we cannot see will last forever. - 2 Corinthians 4:8.
She rose above.
She shot forth.
She sprung up.
She took herself away.
She exalted God.
She roused God.
She was caused to go up.
She was exalted by God.
How cool is that?! So much packed into that one little word! The definition is in the 10 day handout. Maybe you will be inspired to write you own list! Make sure to sign up for our ministry email to get the handout! And don't forget to sign up for January 25th using the button above! Tell a friend!
Psalm 63:1- O God, you are my God; early will I see you; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and weary land where there is not water.
3 Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.
5 They will receive blessing from the Lord
and vindication from God their Savior.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, God of Jacob.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Hope that you had a memorable time of worship and fellowship with God and others over this holiday! We are just a couple of days beyond Christmas so giving you a post birth scripture account to meditate upon. Maybe you are just finding time to wind down after the hustle and bustle of the season. Hoping you take a few moments to sit quietly with God and consider Simeon's joy! His joy is to be our joy as well!
Luke 2: 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the LORD's Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 "Sovereign LORD, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel."
Verse 25 uses a phrase "the consolation of Israel". Simeon was a man who had a life mission to see it. Consolation is a calling near for comfort, solace, encouragement, refreshment. Clearly Simeon was a good man who was burdened for God to draw near His people as One who comforts. He did not want to die before seeing that promised Messiah, and God was good to share His secret with Simeon! He sent the Holy Spirit to tell Simeon that indeed he would see the promised Messiah!
It's such a tender, awe inspiring moment, which I think Ron DiCianni's artwork of "Simeon's Moment" above captures. There is inexpressible elation in his face! There are tears of joy and clearly some sound of holy praise coming from a place deep within. He held the Holy Promise in his arms! There was no doubt in Simeon. He recognized the promise as foretold by the Holy Spirit. He was led by the Holy Spirit to enter the temple at the exact right time! And Mary and Joseph were also led straight to him to perform the circumcision, cleanse Mary, and accept their offerings.
Have you ever imagined holding the Son of God in your arms? Do you have a heart response similar to Simeon? God's greatest and highest call is for us to love Him with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind. Love deepens the more we realize how desperately we need God's forgiveness, the reason the holy child was sent.
Luke 7:47- Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Jesus knows the depth of your love and whether it is surface based or if you are one to unashamedly bow at his feet like the wise men did. Do you read that as a guilt message or an opportunity to more deeply experience the goodness of God? The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy, Psalm 103:8. He is right there waiting and longing for more time with you. Are you satisfied with where you are with God or do you long for more? He promises to openly reward those who go into their prayer closets and talk with Him, Matthew 6:6!
Meditate upon whether or not you are moved to emotion when you worship God. Can you connect with inexpressible joy because of God's love and sacrifice for your sins? Are you free in your time with God to unashamedly pour out your thanksgiving and marvel at His holiness? Do you have goals and longings related to experiencing God at a deeper level in the coming year?
Into the Waters will continue holding online sessions to give you an opportunity to linger in God's presence and deepen your relationship with Him. The sessions help you sit with the LORD, talk to Him, and get to know Him better. He is openly rewarding those who have been attending! A January session will be announced next week! May you join!
Until then, meditate on God as consolation, as comforter. Close your eyes; and do what Simeon did. Hold the Son of God as a newborn, born to die for you. Have you held a baby with a thought, "This child was born to die for me?" It's ludicrous to even think it, except if you are talking about Christ the Messiah. Note during your meditation that Simeon told Mary some very profound truths about who the child was, one who would pierce souls, including her own. See Luke 2:35. If any thoughts of fear or condemnation come up, remember again He is CONSOLATION (COMFORTER). Evaluate your emotional attachment to God. Review areas where you need more joy, where you need a new level of intimacy that brings freedom with God as your Comforter. Ask God to wake you up if you have no passion or desire to press in for more of God. Time is so short! May you invest now in deep fellowship with the heart of God! It is where your life can be made new by God's tender mercies every morning. Great is God's faithfulness, Lamentations 3:23!
Isaiah 9:6- For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
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The quote of "I just can't take it anymore" is what I am hearing from people without hope, the other is a testimony full of renewed hope after an Into the Waters led meditation session done for a private group. As you read, evaluate if you lean more towards not being able to take it anymore or more towards, “This is the breakthrough I’ve needed for awhile.”
Regarding the first quote, a couple of days a week I talk with many, many people about what they are dealing with emotionally, mentally, and physically. It is a secular setting, not a ministry setting. I am not allowed to openly talk about God in this setting, which is very limiting and frustrating to me. There have been times however, where I broke protocol in gentle ways, out of intense burden. I simply share in some way, "I will be praying for you." It has always been well received. However for the 99.9% of distressing situations I hear about, I have to just do the best I can to offer words that comfort and acknowledge their pain. Would have to say of late, the words I offer are momentary, split seconds of kindness that don't take them beyond our call. Over the last 2 weeks have been deeply burdened by talking to a parent after their young child was raped, people whose sleeplessness is taking their sanity, anxiety and depression so severe people are going on disability, violent behaviors of family members seemingly possessed by "something" not of themselves, I am newly hearing and regularly hearing, "I just can't take it anymore." Their tone, their tears, their anger, their shaky voice says it all.
They need hope. And they are reaching out to medicine and doctors as they search.
What is hope exactly? Can it be trusted? In our dictionaries, hope is defined as "a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen". If that is as far as it goes, in my opinion, hope in and of itself as a concept is pretty shaky. Feelings are fleeting. We can have a feeling of hope to live a long life; but die at an early age. We can have a feeling of hope for a relationship to be "the one"; but end in rejection. Same for a hope for a good marriage; yet to end in divorce. We can have a feeling of hope for our children to prosper; but see them make bad decision after bad decision. We can hope for peace of mind; yet have crippling anxiety. Hope, in order for it to be true and life saving MUST have a cord of attachment to a source capable of manifesting the thing hoped for. But we don't see this qualification in our secular dictionaries. Yet, this is in fact how God defines hope in biblical dictionaries. It is defined as a literal cord of attachment that brings expectancy.
HOPE- Strongs 8615 tiqvâh, tik-vaw'; from H6960; (compare H6961) literally a cord (as an attachment); figuratively, expectancy:—expectation(-ted), hope, live, thing that I long for.
The word hope (tikvah) comes from the word kavah which means to wait by binding together, gathering for strength. The more cords are bound together, the stronger a rope is. The more weight it can hold, the more tension it can endure. These are pictures behind the strength that comes in waiting in God’s presence, attaching your hope to Him, having expectancy. Practical questions to examine would be:
Reviewing our hope through these questions takes courage, but is worth it. It is very hard when our hopes do not come to pass. Some of you are in a lot of pain right now because hopes have been dashed. However, these can be opportunities to ground ourselves anew in hope that alone comes from God. He is the God of hope. And regarding hope, if we are willing to strengthen our cords to Him, He will resurrect hope within us. it is His divine design that we overflow with hope by the Power of the Holy Spirit.
NIV- Romans 15:13- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
OVERFLOW OF HOPE>>>>>> Trusting God is key to being filled to joy and peace. Isn't that really the bottom-line request of all prayer... joy and peace? Your bank account can be overflowing; but if joy and peace elude you, what have you gained? You can be model skinny and have beauty that stops traffic; but if self scrutiny and continual dissatisfaction plague you, what have you gained? You can have a very successful career; but if loneliness and stress are your constant companions what is the point? We see the recent outcome of celebrities whose hope was in their children attending the best schools; but at what cost? The bottomline truth is that joy and peace come from the power of the Holy Spirit as you trust in God, not yourself or empty promises from the world.
So how is God-trust being developed in you? Are you experiencing an overflow of hope that comes from God? We all can be challenged by this question. It's a gentle reminder to invest in time before God's throne, to receive the joy and peace that He alone promises and delivers.
Here is a quote from someone who recently invested in lingering with God through an Into the Waters prayer and meditation session. See if you can see hope that came as a result.
"Thank you SO much for leading us on Thursday! It was a beautiful experience for me personally, and it was a breakthrough I have needed for awhile now. The revelation about (xxxxxx) was totally unexpected, but it continues to resonate so strongly with me. I have somehow put a limit on what God will do, and it definitely stems back to that season of my journey. I believe He will do those impossible, wonderful things for others, but not for me. I have dealt with this issue on so many levels and have felt peace along the way, but God not answering my prayers as I wanted at the time, has definitely affected how much I trust Him, I mean that deep, deep level of trust. Thank you for starting the process of tearing that false belief down in me and beginning another layer of healing."
God will tear down our false beliefs in order to bring another layer of healing and hope founded in His faithfulness, love, mercy, goodness, provision, etc. The power of the Holy Spirit deposits His life in those who trust! We are strengthened after waiting in His presence. Hope is renewed as our cord of attachment to God flows with new life from Him!
Do you need a fresh deposit of supernatural joy and peace, to overflow with hope from the Holy Spirit? In the Fall, Into the Waters will be holding some online group sessions on HOPE. These will be small groups of up to 10 at a time. Stay tuned for more announcements and sign up opportunities!
But for now meditate on the truth from Romans 15:13! Seed it into your heart by reading it in many translations. Reading it in many translations will do a couple of things.
NIV- Romans 15:13- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
NLT- I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
ESV- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Berean Study Bible- Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
KJV- Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
GNT- May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.
“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
Psalm 25:5 NIV
(Guided texted based 4 min meditation on fear, with lake and nature sounds). There are 2 types of fears. Which one affects you the most? Consider, pray, and wait with God. Pause where prompted to meditate more intently. Let His perfect love drive out your fear. Blessings!
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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!"