Give up worrying. Trust that God is with you, always.
Give up worrying. Trust that God is with you, always.
I was thinking about empathy and compassion this morning and brought to mind a post I shared a while back. It said, “Name a movie that made you cry.” There have been many comments on the thread, which is great, but not the point. Many of the movies named have been pretty predictable while others have not. Many of these movies I hadn’t thought of in years and others I had never even watched, which is also, great.
But what got me thinking was some of the comments from people who said they never watched sad movies. Some even mentioned the reason was because there was already so much sadness in the world. Others didn’t explain their reasons…all fine and good too. There are many times I simply cannot watch a sad movie because I’m already in a sad place myself and what I need is joy and hope.
If we never watch sad movies, those movies that cause us to be in the midst of the suffering, does this speak of our compassion or our lack of compassion and empathy towards those around us? Is this something we avoid because it is uncomfortable and messy?
For instance, if we look at this through a bigger lens, I wonder what this says about the human condition when we avoid situations that we know will make us sad; you know, the widow down the street who not only lost her husband but has now just lost her son to disease or sickness. Or the man who just lost his job because he has addictions and can’t afford rehab and doesn’t know of any other kind of help.
Yes, it breaks our heart, it really does but it would hurt in a different and more tangible way if we were to go and enter into that suffering with them. I think there is a fear of involvement that wants to keep us “safe” behind our doors. It’s easier to talk about compassion than it is to show compassion.
If we were to simply go and let them know they’re not alone or to let them know there is someone who loves them and can maybe help, it might change their world. Yes, that would definitely cost us something in the end.
I do think we (I) need to count the cost more and pay the price for others. What’s the worst thing that can happen, we make a new friend? Or we get to help a neighbor gain freedom? Who knows? I need to come out of the “safe” cave of me and GO out more and then enter into the lives around me.
What about you – are you showing compassion or simply talking about it? What are your thoughts?
On Royalty and Honor
Several years ago I read a couple of books that caused me to pause and reflect on the connectedness they had with each other. One of the books, The Supernatural Ways of Royalty by Kris Vallotton speaks about our identity and who we are as Royal Heirs; the other one is, Honor’s Reward by John Bevere and it speaks of how we treat those Royals all around us.
Both are excellent books.
When we realize that we are Royal Heirs, we discover there are certain requirements and obligations that go along with it. Of course, there are many benefits also. When you are raised as a prince of a kingdom, there are things you can do that you wouldn’t be able to do if you were raised outside the palace.
There are many advantages to being a prince. In the palace, it would never occur to you to question your authority or even your identity – it’s WHO you’ve been your whole life and everyone knows it and would never question it. It is from this place that you live your life.
When you are a royal heir, you have responsibilities that go with the title. One of those responsibilities is you need to be a leader and you need to learn about honoring those you encounter. You need to represent the King and his kingdom. I read somewhere that Moses had to be raised in Pharaoh’s palace so he would know the ways of royalty when it became time for him to lead the people out of Egypt. To me, this makes perfect sense. When we know who we are, we won’t be easily moved from a position of authority or leadership by intimidation or otherwise. We will stand and do what’s right.
However, if you had been raised outside the palace, you wouldn’t know the identity of being a prince. You wouldn’t know how to act like one or even what his duties and responsibilities were. Well, guess what? You are royalty. You are a prince. I can only imagine somewhere along the journey of your life, something drastically changed and you became a new creation. And actually, that is what happened. When Jesus died for all of us at Calvary, we became heirs with Him; we became Royal Heirs – and that is quite a new creation!
Now we need to learn how to be a Prince in the Kingdom.
Reading John’s book on Honor taught me very simplistically that there are 3 levels of honor.
The first level is honoring those who are in authority over us. That could mean our spiritual leaders, our boss, our parents, or even our civil leaders like Police officers, Congressmen, or the President of the United States.
The second level is honor among peers; those who are running the race with us. Those who don’t have authority over us but come alongside and go through the same trials. Our friends are also at this level.
The third level is the honor for those who are below you. NOT in a derogatory sense, but as in children, our own or those of others. (Yes, children absolutely deserve our honor – how else will they learn? We have to honor them and give them the grace to grow just like we did, both physically and spiritually.)
The third level is also about honoring those who have not had the experiences or the teachings we’ve had but are on a different part of the journey than us.
Honor those above.
Honor those beside.
Honor those below.
All these things have been going through my mind lately. I’ve been contemplating royalty and honor as parts of a single identity and what I’ve decided is this:
I am a daughter of the King and my husband is the son of the King. Each and every one of us is sons and daughters of this same King. That is a fact.
I want to discover if our interactions demonstrate the honor of royalty among ourselves – do we display honor in our interactions and conversations with other royals, each other?
In our day to day dealings, we need to remember who we’re actually interacting with. We are the inheritance of God. He is our inheritance but also we are His. Because of this, there needs to be honor among us. The way we treat each other, the way we respect and honor each other is so important.
How we treat others is a picture of how we see God. Is that through a filter of self-righteousness? Do we see Him through the lens of religious doctrine? Or do we see God as our King; the Father of us ALL?
If we are able to see royalty in everyone we encounter and treat them with the respect and honor due, we will be well on our way to becoming Christlike. Isn’t that what God planned in the first place; to create us in His image?
Another thought –
There is another book, A Culture of Honor, by Danny Silk which is about living this out. Do yourself a favor; if you haven’t read these books you should. They are life-changing. I highly recommend them all. (I’ve reread them many times and probably will read them again.)
My prayer is that I can begin to see and honor each and every one of you for who you really are; not for where you are on the journey. We’re all on a journey and God has placed us together for a reason. One of those reasons is so we can learn how to honor and respect each other, thus sharpening each other. I pray each and every one of you are blessed, honored and respected in this day and that you will go out and honor all those you encounter.
Romans 12:10 TPT Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another.
Today I wanted to tell you about our kitties; primarily about Micah and Cyrus. No, it’s not a God story but it is a story of life and a story about some of God’s little creatures – and a conversation perhaps.
We have been experiencing a lot of rain this month and when it rains, it means that I had better have plenty of paper towels on hand! Why you ask? Let me tell you…
Our cats are indoor and outdoor kitties – they have the best of both worlds. They love to be outside, lying in the sun or some out of the way place, for hours on end. Also, they love to watch the birds and squirrels; try to sneak up on them to maybe even catch them. Sunny days are the best days as far as they are concerned.
When it rains though, they try and stay outside and bird watch but usually, it’s not for very long. Eventually, they come into the house to escape the rain but become very bored inside. Inevitably, they will brave the rain and go outside again, getting soaked in the process.
When they do come in, they come into the kitchen and begin meowing so someone (ME) can come and dry them off. They didn’t start out doing this, that is for sure!
On rainy days when they come in tracking up the place with muddy footprints, so wet you can visibly see the water dripping off their coats, you have to do something about it. And so I did…
I grabbed a paper towel and began trying to dry off the cat. I rubbed their back first while trying to hold them still with my other hand, then picked them up to try and dry off their paws but mostly that is hit or miss. For some reason, the paws are practically off limits! But, when I flip them over in my arms and begin drying off their tummy and chin, the purrs begin to erupt – they are in heaven. All of this with a paper towel or two, depending on how wet they are.
Once I get them dried off as much as I can, they get a treat because it’s a reward for being still. And, they insist.
At first, the cats tried to bolt and run away but I made them stand there and get dried off -whether they liked it or not!
Cyrus, the baby, is the one I dry off the most. He comes in to be dried off up to 6 or 7 times a day when it’s raining; sometimes he’s only been sitting on the porch and isn’t even wet but cries as if he is. Yes I know, I’m pretty well trained too because I ALWAYS fall for it!
They get all dried off, petted and even a snack before running back out the door to get wet all over again. Rinse and repeat!
I guess I’ve created little, spoiled creatures who love comfort, treats, and attention!
“It’s not spoiling unless you keep it up” ~ Ginny
This is but a small portion of the book, God Speaks. (Link below) I was honored to contribute to this compilation.
Experiencing God’s Voice
God’s goodness is the same towards me today as it was yesterday; He doesn’t change. What does change is my awareness of it. I don’t live in a vacuum, I live in a Kingdom where the King speaks, and He speaks all the time. And, He’s speaking to you and me right now.
It comes down to hearing God’s voice for ourselves
One thing we have been granted is the ability to hear His voice for ourselves. This may not happen immediately when we get saved, but it can. Too often we begin by hearing His voice through others and never move beyond that. Or we’ve been taught that hearing the voice of God is only for the few elect among us. That simply is not true. So guess what? I’m here to tell you the Good News: You too can hear God for yourself! Actually, you need to hear God for yourself. And the reason is, we need to hear His voice in order to have any kind of relationship with Him. It’s why He created us in the first place; He wants to interact with us.
If we want to hear God, the first thing we have to do is actually believe that we can hear Him. We have to believe and come to know that he is speaking to us all the time, and then tune in and actually interact with Him.
If we don’t believe that hearing from God is possible, it won’t be. If we think hearing from God is only for others, we will never develop the relationship we need, and He so desires. We will miss so much and maybe we won’t hear anything at all because we’re not expecting to or listening for Him. Our posture will not be leaning toward Him.
Some ways we can hear God’s voice
For me, hearing His voice starts with asking questions, leaning in as if to hear a whispered response. But I don’t ask any ole questions; I ask specific questions, things I truly don’t know the answer to. When we ask specific questions, we know when He answers them. How could we not? If I ask Him something I don’t know the answer to and all of a sudden I know the answer, it follows that He is the one who obviously gave me the answer. And sometimes, it can be that simple.
Usually, a question that begins with “why” is not a great place to start. A better question might begin with “what” or “who.” For instance: What are we going to be doing today? Or, who am I going to encounter today? Maybe an even better question would be something more specific. For example, “God, you know I’m having this issue at work. I’m asking for wisdom to know who I can turn for the answers I need to resolve these things.” When a solution comes to a specific question that you had no answer for yourself, you know it was God speaking.
These types of questions invite a response and set our focus on what or who we may encounter that day. We will be looking for it, even expecting it.
How we hear His voice differs from person to person and from situation to situation. He’s pretty creative and likes to demonstrate it. The actual hearing isn’t always an audible voice as we may expect, (although sometimes, it is.) Most often it’s an inward one, and even that can vary in tone. Our spiritual ears are not the same as our physical ears, just like seeing in the spirit isn’t always the same as seeing with our natural eyes, even though it does happen. But both are ways in which God can speak to us. One time I heard God speak to me in such a loud voice I thought the people in the car behind me could hear Him too! His voice reverberated in my head so loudly that it only felt audible, although it actually wasn’t.
Another way God speaks to us is through a picture or vision. Several years ago as I was ministering at the International Association of Healing Rooms ministry, I saw a picture over a woman I was praying for. As I closed my eyes I suddenly saw a broken cistern and knew it was a picture of her. It was a very brief image that only lasted a second or two but it was enough to for me to know how to pray. A word of knowledge can take on many forms, from hearing and seeing, to feeling physical pain. And these are only a few of the ways God speaks to us.
God also often uses my intuition to speak to me. For example, when He speaks to me via impressions, I suddenly know things that I didn’t know prior to asking Him. Although it’s not really discernible words, I know it’s His voice because scripture tells us that His thoughts are not my thoughts, and what He just “said” or what I now intuitively know, is something I couldn’t have known, but it’s better than what I could have come up with. It often works like this: I’m seeking an answer for something or someone. I ask God the question, then the next thing you know, I have the answer.
When you work in the healing rooms, you do so as a team. As a team we would receive a form that the “patient” had filled out with their prayer needs and a little personal information. The form had things like, their name, marital status, religion, prayer need, doctor’s care, etc. Once we got the form, we would pray over it to find out what the Lord had to say about the prayer need and to get His strategy. There were times when we didn’t feel like we had received any strategy at all and that’s when asking these questions became very important. Either way, after we had prayed, the “patient” would then come in the room.
In a place like this, God loves to pour out His love on those who have come seeking Him. It’s a wonderful thing to be the vessel for this great love. When times came that I didn’t know what to pray or even where to begin when standing in front of the person who came in for prayer, I would begin to ask God questions about them. I would ask God what He wanted to say to that person today, or how He wanted me to minister to them. I would ask Him to show me why they were in pain, or even what was the root of the pain, etc. all because I knew these people didn’t come to see me. They came for an encounter with Him and for the healing that only He could do.
He demonstrated this to me many times. One Saturday, we were praying over a young man who had come in for prayer. We gathered around him and one by one, the members of the team began to speak encouragement and words of destiny over him. This went on for a while but the recipient wasn’t acting like he was the least bit encouraged.
While waiting my turn to pray for him, I heard the Lord say, “Break the Eeyore spirit off of him.” I said, “What, Lord?” He repeated it to me again and added something else. “Break the Eeyore spirit off, and impart the spirit of Tigger to him.” That was very strange, but I knew I didn’t imagine it.
When I stood before this young man, I didn’t preface anything. I boldly did what the Lord told me to do. Everyone in the room laughed, except the person receiving prayer. I commanded the spirit of Eeyore to leave, and before I could even begin to talk about Tigger or anything else, he leaned in and wanted to hear more about what exactly an Eeyore spirit meant, because it resonated deeply with him, even if he didn’t understand what it all meant. I actually didn’t know what it meant when I first heard God say it either, so I asked Him. What He spoke was more in the form of impressions than actual words. Since I didn’t know anything about this spirit before hearing God tell me to speak it, all I could do was open my mouth by faith and hope He would fill it! He did. As I opened my mouth, an explanation came forth. I told him it was a victim spirit, a self-pitying spirit, and it left him wide open to all the discouragements he’d been experiencing in his life. After telling him these things, I finished doing what the Lord asked; I imparted the spirit of Tigger to him. I spoke joy over him and freedom to dance and live with great expectation of what God was doing in his life. His whole countenance changed. He was open and happy and no longer sad and heavy-leaden. Joy was bubbling up and out of him. Of course everyone was still laughing in the room, but it was for a different reason now; joy had come down to stay. As a side note, every time I encountered this young man, I called him by his new name: Tigger, and I honestly can say, Tigger is who he is.
Another time we were praying over a woman, whom we all knew. This person told us she wanted prayer for addiction to be removed, but would give no details as to what the addiction was or any other specific needs. It was strange in that she seemed to not trust us with her “secret,” so I assumed it was shame operating and keeping her from a place of trust.
Our prayers were going nowhere. No one seemed to be getting any revelation or specifics on how to pray for her. While I was doing my part by interceding, and seeking God for what He wanted me to say or pray over her when my turn came, I heard the Lord say, “Tell her your testimony; tell her about overcoming addiction yourself.”
When my turn finally came, I stood in front of her and said, “I have no idea what your addiction is, nor does it matter, because God wants to heal you right now. And, God told me to tell you my testimony about quitting cigarettes; He felt you needed to hear it. ” When I said that, her eyes got huge! She asked me how I knew, who told me her secret? “Well, God did, of course,” I said. So I told her my testimony about quitting smoking and the changes I made in my life so that it would remain gone. I then prayed for her to have the same overcoming spirit. I declared that my testimony would become the spirit of prophesy in her life and the spirit of addiction would depart from her and she would gain freedom over it.
When God spoke to me about sharing my testimony, I knew it was Him. I wasn’t even thinking about overcoming cigarettes, it hadn’t even occurred to me. I was expecting to hear about some deep terrible sin or something. So much for my imagination, that wasn’t on God’s heart at all.
After asking/praying for these things I would usually get an answer, as indicated in the stories above. The answer never came in an audible voice, but instead it would come as a knowing in me. Once I started ministering and praying with this knowledge, other things or information would begin to flow out of me that I had had no knowledge of prior to asking. This is how a word of knowledge works.
Sometimes I would receive knowledge or information that was an answer to something someone needed, but to me it didn’t make much sense. And because I was in a position of hearing God for them and depending on His revelation, I would by faith, begin to speak out the things I had heard. Soon after, the Holy Spirit would begin to flow through me and more and more revelation would pour forth.
These words were things only Holy Spirit and the person receiving prayer knew and there was no way I could have known them without God telling me first.
Hearing God for those around me is a wonderful thing, but often when He speaks, it’s for me alone. He wants to be involved in every aspect of my life, and sometimes, He wants to have a conversation with no agenda or teaching. He wants to talk and spend time with me.
During these times, He speaks to me through teachings and things I read, like books, blogs, and scriptures. Most times, I wouldn’t even be articulating a question, but was simply pondering something in my heart, and the answer would come up through whatever I was reading or listening to. At these times, I could almost physically hear Him smile. Don’t ask me how that works because I don’t have any idea, but hear that smile, I did.
I’ve learned that He is always speaking, but I may not always be listening. His voice is like a frequency on a radio station; it’s always on whether we are tuned in (listening) or not. My desire is to be able to tune in and then rip the knob off so I never am in a place where I don’t hear His voice. My joy is to interact with Him, and that involves hearing.
There was a time just a couple of years ago where I had been crying out for a spiritual mother or someone to mentor me. I had been teaching and equipping women through book studies for several years and was feeling inadequate to continue. I felt I needed someone to teach and equip me, one on one, so I could serve and teach others better. I wanted someone to pour into me like I was pouring into them. There was no one to fulfill that role in my life at that time.
One day while driving home from work I was having a conversation with God, telling him once again about my longing for someone to speak into my life. Actually, I was probably doing more whining than anything else, when suddenly, as clear as if He were sitting in the car beside me, I heard Him speak. He said, “What you are to them, I am to you. You teach, equip, and encourage more people than you realize. I am your teacher. I am your mentor and for this time, I’m all that you need.”
Wow, I heard Him so clearly it couldn’t be mistaken for any thoughts of my own. He took my breaking heart in His hands and gently eased the pain. I was overwhelmed with His love. The fact that He would take the time to make sure that I knew He was there for me in my time of need changed me. Suddenly I knew it was true; He had been teaching me and sustaining me through it all. I guess we all need to hear encouraging words and be affirmed from time to time. And who better to hear it from than God Himself?
Hearing God literally has changed my life. Yes I still hear him speak through others, but there is nothing like a personal conversation with someone who knows you better than anyone else. He is my wisdom and my guide. If ever I’m lacking in either of these things, I know right away that it’s me who has left the conversation, not Him.
He’s speaking even now. Can you hear Him? What is He saying?
Excerpt from, God Speaks – Perspectives on Hearing God’s Voice, Praying Medic, Inkitty Press 2017
Get a copy here: http://amzn.to/2Gwp37l
“You can’t reason with anxiety, negotiate with doubt, or compromise with fear. They’re like fire, consuming everything in your mind until they leave it darkened and scarred.
When a negative thought begins to burn, you have to overwhelm it with what God is saying about your identity and your circumstances. Jesus said when we receive Him into our lives; we have a constant stream of living water in us. Pursuing what you’ve read in His word, and heard from Him in your heart, releases that river of righteousness, peace, and joy, displacing the negativity in you, and bringing blessing to everyone around you.”
This is in line with some of my meditations and conversations of late. The issue of only seeing the bad things happening to us and being overwhelmed by them when that is exactly what the enemy’s plan is – to distract us and overwhelm us by causing us to only see what he is doing is counter-intuitive to our walk in the Kingdom. And it’s frustrating if you live there!
“Frustration is frustrating” – Paul Wilcox ( Sounds silly but is true none the less)
I don’t know about you but I’m tired of talking about what the enemy is doing or has done! I’m tired of all the frustration when I do!
I am not a victim as the enemy would have me believe, I am victorious. . .
And if I’m not feeling exactly victorious at any given time, I need to re-direct my focus to all the beautiful things God has and is blessing me with – for there are many! My thoughts need to think of those things that are lovely, pleasant and beautiful. I have to get to a place where my eyes are no longer on me. Do I trust God or do I fear (trust) the enemy more? It’s one or the other, it can’t be both.
Because I refuse to worship the enemy, aka only gaze upon him, it doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge that he’s trying to wreak havoc in my life. No, it means I don’t let it stop me from doing the things I want to do, the things I’m called to do and am passionate about.
That is NOT going to happen.
As long as I am able to realize what the enemy is trying to accomplish with his tactics (being wise as a snake and as gentle as a dove), I am able to walk in victorious blessings. It really is up to me. In all things rejoice, is all circumstances bless the Lord. This is true because, “you can’t reason with anxiety, negotiate with doubt, or compromise with fear.” Rob is right about that. “When a negative thought begins to burn, you have to overwhelm it with what God is saying about your identity and your circumstances.”
When we take our eyes off of ourselves we then are free to help others, we then can see a place where we can be an instrument of change in someone else’s life. We then will even begin to see hope arise in our own situations – all because God is working on our “problems” while we help others with theirs.
Photo found here – https://stocksnap.io/photo/M558J8TZDJ
We’ve all had words of encouragement spoken over us from time to time and I think these types of Words are wonderful; we all need encouragement and affirmation. What I wanted to talk about are the Words we’ve received that are Words of destiny, those bigger, life-changing words. They’re the words we long to come to pass, the Words we’ve been looking for ever since they were spoken to us – those Words.
What do we do with those words? Are they sitting on a dusty shelf, long given up on, or are they stuck in your Bible where we can ponder them, meditate on them? The answer to this question is kind of important. It shows where our faith is in those Words coming to pass.
Are we making ready, preparing for when the Words are here, having been fulfilled?
Let me give you an example of preparing, by faith for those things that are not, as though they were. . .
There are always things we can do to prepare for something that hasn’t arrived yet. When someone is pregnant, they do things to prepare for the baby’s arrival. They buy beds, sheets, diapers and car seats, just to name a few things. The parents are expectant of the arrival, (and with a child too, obviously), they spend much of their time preparing for something they have faith will happen.
Another example I’ll use is Thanksgiving since that is almost upon us here in the USA. To help me prepare for a day of cooking and baking that is like no other, I can do a make-ahead version of pie crust so that the morning of, I simply pull out my bag of prepared ingredients, pour it into a mixing bowl, all the liquid and within minutes I have fresh pie crusts, ready to fill and bake. I can do the same with the dressing for the turkey. I can cut up the bread, toast it and prepare it all the way to baking – that saves tons of time on Thanksgiving Day. I can assemble all the dry ingredients for muffins or cakes if I like, also. Being prepared ahead of time is actually an act of faith.
How is it an act of faith?
When I prepare pie crusts well in advance of the day they will be used, I show faith in that day coming. If I had no faith, or even hope that the day I needed those pies would arrive, I wouldn’t even bother preparing anything in advance. This may not seem like it’s faith at all but, it is. Faith doesn’t have to be big or even about something big. That was never the point of Matthew 17:20.
Pre-setting your dining room table a few days before your guests even arrive is a sign of faith also. You are doing something in expectation of the event!
My point is, there are always things we can be doing in preparation for things that haven’t arrived in our lives yet. Be it a prophetic word about your destiny, your ministry, a baby yet to be born, or even your long-awaited spouse; we can prepare! We can do things to make ourselves ready. There are things that we have to do in order for those things to happen.
Not only are there things we can be doing that make us prepared when that word finally comes to pass, there are things we HAVE to do that will propel us closer to where we want to be and make us ready for the things we desire to have. It takes faith and hope to do this, it takes action on our part to make ourselves ready and be who we need to be when they/it arrives!
We aren’t supposed to sit around with our hands out as if we’re expecting things to literally fall out of heaven into our laps. Of course, no one means to do that but sometimes we’ve lost hope and we are doing nothing that is an act of faith. We’ve lost hope in our dreams and those words have gotten dusty on that shelf in the closet.
Something we can do is to ask God what we can or need to do to prepare and make ourselves ready. What is it we need to study? What is it we need to learn? Do we need to start walking out some of these Words as if they already are? I don’t know, but God does, and I’m pretty sure you may have an inkling of the answer.
Wait upon the Lord, as in Isa 40: 31
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
The word wait here is a verb. (Strongs) If we don’t ever do anything, why would be worried about growing weary? This verse is talking about waiting on the Lord, meaning – doing something and not grow weary in the doing!
One thing I really feel very strongly we should do and do right now is, take out those words – examine them and read them out loud with such a force you actually start believing they are driving up your street, about to knock on your door!
We are supposed to be moving toward that thing. We are supposed to be building a place for that thing to land! That prophetic Word is like an airplane, we have to build a landing strip so it can land!
Come on! Let’s do this thing – great things are on the horizon about to overtake us, if we will but have the faith to make a place for it to happen!