Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Obedience Walkin, Spirit Talkin

A few days ago, I felt so defeated.  Sigh. :-(  Relationship woes. Career woes.  Family woes.  Just defeated.  So I just sat on my couch and cried.  After I finished, with tears still streaming down my face, I felt a strong desire (by the Holy Spirit, will understand as you keep reading) to rearrange/move/change my furniture in my living room.  So I did.  I got up and moved the couch, floor rug, a few plants and re positioned my television.  After I finished, many items had a brand new place. I even added other items (candles, pictures, etc.) from my bedroom to the living area space.  The feeling I felt once I absorbed the new positioning within my old space was simply calm and amazing, I immediately felt better.  It was actually kind of strange how good I felt.  The more I observed, the better I felt.  I mean it was so refreshing, and the feeling I felt was actually even better than the feeling I've always felt about the set up of the space...So I thanked God because the flow of the space presented a new kind of peace that I had not felt before.  And at that moment, I just needed some peace.  But God was really trying to give me a visual perspective of so much more.

Later that night, I woke up around 3 am, and just could not go back to sleep.  So I got up and prayed.  As I prayed, I thanked God for numerous things and not really thinking about it I also thanked Him for instructing me to rearrange/change my space.  What came out of my mouth next was nothing short of the supernatural, because what I said, I had not even realized I had said it until after I said and heard it come out of my mouth.  Basically, the Holy Spirit had just spoken to me through my own mouth, out loud.  As I simply prayed and thanked God, the Holy Spirit was giving me a rhema word using my own voice.  What I said, which actually was with a strong tone of conviction that I also didn't recognize until after I said it was, "thank you Lord for giving me the desire to rearrange my space, because you were showing me that you have changed and rearranged my situation.  You were confirming through my own actions that a rearrangement had been made, and it was good.  Just as my rearrangement had been pleasant and made me feel better, so would the changes that you have made."   I knew all of this was the voice of the Lord, and not my own thoughts and interpretations because I thought back to after I had changed my living area, how so very happy I was and couldn't really understand why...especially from right after having an international cry fest just moments before. :-)  I just remembered how I kept admiring and looking at the changes and acknowledging how pleasant and peaceful they had made me feel.

I honestly couldn't believe how the moving of furniture had me so excited as if something radical had happened.  But the Spirit explained later that something radical DID happen!!! Only it was something radical in the spirit realm, and that's why I was so extremely happy, because my spirit understood and comprehended it.  Actually, in the natural the Holy Spirit had quickened His peace over me, which led me into action to bring about a change in my atmosphere, that I would find to be very fulfilling...the very thing God has done with my situation.  He has quickened His peace over my circumstances, which led Him into action to bring about change in the atmosphere, that I will find to be exceedingly fulfilling.  My natural senses were full because I could see a pleasant visual rearrangement in my home, but my spirit was full because she could see a pleasant supernatural rearrangement in my life.  And which by faith, because of the God I serve, ("I am the Lord; in its time, I will do this swiftly." ~Isaiah 60:22) will come to pass in the natural.

What a mighty moment from my Heavenly Father!!!  Isn't He just simply amazing?!?!?

A few nuggets of to consider:

~When you feel defeated or have feelings of still and look for ways God may be trying to translate something to you in your own way of understanding

~Don't over/under estimate God's simplistic ability to speak to you, we know He is great but He can and will do something so small and simple to get your attention all the same

~God is always concerned about showing you He is there and is your refuge

~No matter how deep you believe you have fallen or how detrimental your issue is, God is always willing to pick you up from your dead place

~God not only wants to give you peace in your heart through lifting your spirits, but peace of mind by confirming His working power

~Changing your perspective will sometimes require the work of your hands, the desire to trust and the willingness to obey

~God will provide revelations specific to your life naturally and/or open and equipped to hear from Him on both side of the spectrum

~God has has quickened His peace over your circumstances, which has led Him into action to bring about change in your atmosphere, that you will find to be exceedingly fulfilling

Again yall, I felt defeated.... so God told me to move my furniture, I did...didn't understand it, but I felt better.  Then, I couldn't sleep... so God told me to pray, I did....where in His presence He then explained the reasoning by what I was told to do and why it made me feel better.  There was a purpose in the instructions, but the only way I could be able to understand what He would later reveal to me was if I saw exactly what He meant and felt what I felt, before He told me.  Bottom line, in order to feel where God is coming from, there has to be a move of action on our whatever way He is instructing us to move.  If God had just woke me up and revealed to me he was rearranging my situation, because I had not seen anything and was already obviously struggling with not seeing anything there would've been a strong possibility that I (with my stubborn self) would have either doubted or slightly brushed it off because I couldn't see the changes or experience the feelings of bliss when you go through a positive change.  He needed me to feel it, as the doer I am, in my own strength to be able to seriously interpret, trust and believe what He would later reveal.

There is always a purpose for God's instructions and for being obedient.  And often times, if not is significant to our own small personal good.  Listen to the voice of the Lord, but don't just listen....also be obedient to what He says or instructs you to do, even with the most simplest task. You won't understand or get from A to B without following instructions.  Or maybe you can, however it just may take forever or a lifetime...and who in the world wants that???

New wine skins. New wine. Obey. Change. Live.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Falling In Love With Jesus

There are a lot of mistakes I've made in my life, so many that I've lost count.  There are also some good things I consider as accomplishments, things like obtaining undergrad and graduate degrees, live on my own in 3 different major metropolitan cities in 3 different areas of the country. But there is one perfect thing that I count every day that no one can take away from me, that I've done so so right and so proud and assured about, and that is accepting Jesus Christ into my heart as my personal savior.  I accepted Jesus at a very young age, but it wasn't until I was a full grown adult that I actually fell in love with Him.  Accepting Him is one thing, but falling in love with Him is a WHOLE nother.  They are mutually exclusive.  It is a totally different situation that can only be understood through a personal eye opening, heart warming, revelation producing experience. And because of the fullness in my heart from being in love with Him, this is the reason I am able to forget the immaturity of my youth and early adult life, let go of my mistakes, my past, and so much so that I truly can't count them, mainly because He doesn't count them.  I have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus.  The blood still works and still has miraculous power!!!  There is no doubt in my mind that falling in love with Jesus is truly the best thing I've ever done, and there is no place I'd rather be.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Holy Spirit

Over the last few weeks, my church home has been really discussing the Holy Spirit.  It has really been a refresher course because sometimes I tend to not zoom in on His keen nature, as much as I should.  Here are some reminders I was presented with:

~The Holy Spirit is a gift
~God the Father speaks through the Holy Spirit
~The Holy Spirit is the voice of the Lord
~Let the Holy Spirit guide you and you won't walk in the flesh, nor can the flesh rule
~Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control are all fruit of the Spirit
~The Holy Spirit has the power the break the back of the enemy, change the atmosphere in a dead situation
~It is our responsibility to exercise our own spirit so it is fit enough to receive the revelations from God the, praying in tongues, this is what builds up and strengthens our spirit man

These are things that we should know, but sometimes need to really have it reiterated so it can really soak in our brains, hearts and spirits. And speaking of letting things soak in, we also had an awesome experience where I learned about a technique called "soaking".  One of our leaders gave this example as if you were trying to get a stain out a garment, how in the old days you would fill the sink with cold water and submerge the garment in water for a length of time.  If the stain wasn't removed, you would empty the water out and refill with fresh water and re-submerge the garment. Well of course this was just a figurative example as we were not physically being submerged with water as one would during a water baptism, however we were allowing and surrendering our bodies, minds and hearts to be submerged in the Holy Spirit.  This technique called for quietness and stillness in a chair, on the floor, or however you are being led to submit, in order to hear from God the Father. When we heard things, we were advised to write them down on butcher paper that was provided at various stations.  We were instructed to share what we heard because it may be God relaying a message of confirmation to someone else, as well as ourselves.

The things I heard and the order in which I heard them were mind blowing!!  Some of the things I heard in the first order were:

~I will restore
~I will do this swiftly
~I will make your name great
~It is well
~Remember this time

The second order, I heard:
~I Am that I Am
~Trust only me
~I do not fail

Again, the words and phrases themselves were overwhelming and amazing, so much so I became emotional after my natural mind processed what I had just heard and written down...because they all apply to me personally. But what really impressed me was the order in which God the Father chose to speak to me in.  I grew up in a southern baptist church and one of the most significant lessons I learned was God is in, big, mighty powerful, etc., and we are to always acknowledge Him for who He is, first and foremost. And then, celebrate and honor the things He does.  Which to me is the appropriate method, and never have I done it in any other way.  But, if you notice the order, He revealed to me what He would do FIRST, and THEN revealed who He is and His nature.  Interesting enough, what I finally understood is that God is a relational being, therefore He, Himself is not concerned about who He is, but wholly concerned about the other person.  For example, I've always heard that the best relationships between two people are the ones where each person concerns themselves with the other person and not themselves.  If both people are equally concerned about each other, then all needs will be met.  Usually, when relationships don't work, it is because one party has decided to neglect the other person because of their own personal, selfishness.

God proved to me that He is not in the business of self promotion...because when He spoke to me, promoting who He is took a back seat. He spoke to my needs first and then confirmed who He is.  He is in the business of meeting needs and that is what is most important to Him.  Basically, if I could sum up part 1 and 2 in a tweet, He said, "Crystal, I got you know who I am?" What an humble presentation!!!  One thing about us, because we do honor Him so we should, we sometimes can get in the habit of believing that that is His goal as well, to promote and honor His own existence to us, first.  No, that is our job!!  For us to honor His existence to Him, FIRST!! And this is what meets His needs. Promoting and reiterating who He is to Him and other people.  Then petition for our personal needs.  But the funny thing is, if and when we do what's first, we won't have to ask for anything.  "Seek ye first...".  If you take care of God, He will take care of you. One final confirmation I received in my own time about this hours after was God showed me, and almost relayed it as if He said, but Crystal, don't you know I also did this in Genesis?  The very first scripture in the bible starts with, "In the beginning, God created..." not, God is.  And actually He didn't reveal who He is until later on, and His first reveal wasn't even His true name. WOW, how many missed that revelation?  I did, but I don't anymore...all because of the power of the Holy Spirit.  I believe when we can fully understand this for how it is truly supposed to work, then we can have a sincere reciprocated relationship with God the Father. And it be good.  The thing is, only the Holy Spirit can bring about this type of fellowship, because of and through Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit is a person.  He is a gentleman, so He won't push himself off on you.  But if you receive Him for who He is,  He will be all you need and more.  He is your advocate, your helper, your counselor, your leader, your peacemaker, your friend and the ultimate pathway to understanding everything about God the Father.  It is impossible to hear from the Father, things concerning the Father, things in relation to you and the Father, without the Holy Spirit.  This is why Jesus was so adamant about Him, because He knew and understood that His whole purpose was so the Spirit can come upon us.  Poor Jesus would've been so tired trying to hang around in the flesh for us for 2000 sum odd years, and definitely would have eventually died on us, foreal.  But He understood that a threefold cord is not easily broken.  "God in three persons, blessed trinity".  We need the power of God the Father, God the Son AND God the Holy Spirit working in our lives.  It's time to get completely plugged in.  Is your power source complete?

I have the heart of the Father, the mind of Christ and the Holy Spirit...and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Galatians 5:16
1 Corinthians 12:4-13
Hebrews 2:4
Acts 2: 1-21
1 Corinthians 14:1-17, 39-40

Tuesday, May 14, 2013