Encouragement – We All Need It

Encourage someone

Encouragement – We all want it, heck, we all need it!

I’ve found that things are a little different in the kingdom than they are in the world. For instance, if I need something, I usually have to begin to give something away. If I need kindness, I need to be kind. It’s a kingdom of opposites in some ways.

What seems right to a man is death, (Prov. 16:25) Hmmm. I think this scripture may have something to do with the ‘kingdom-way’ of doing things. If I keep doing things only for me, me, me, all it will do is bring death. If I am so full of things or information and never give back or pour back out to others, I’m a virtual dead sea with no outlet. I’m dead.

So, when I need encouragement, I encourage others. When I need wisdom, the first thing I do is ask, and then I give away what He’s given to me because others are seeking it. God has always been faithful in giving me what other’s need. He probably does the same for you.

Encouragement is often like an affirmation. It’s the turbo boost we sometimes need at the very end of a project or season. When things seem like they couldn’t get any harder but still do, encouragement is the juice that will keep us contending for the breakthrough we know is just around the corner. It will cause us to stand up straighter and know that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing.

So, am I right; don’t we all need encouragement? I would challenge you to purpose your day to go out and find someone who needs exactly what you need and encourage them to not give up, to keep pressing until the breakthrough comes. Tell them exactly what you need to hear, use the same exact words you are longing to hear yourself. You will be amazed how refreshed you feel. Holy Spirit may even now be whispering to you some of the things you need to do or say to bring about this refreshing to others and vicariously, for yourself too.

I’ve done this before with great success. This is not a formula of course because we all need different things. But it can be a principal or a tool. One day when I was feeling pretty discouraged I went into the grocery store to pick up a few things. All I wanted to do was get what I needed as quickly as possible and then go home.  When I got my things and approached one of the checkout lanes, I noticed that one of the cashiers was really looking down and discouraged. I knew that if spoke some encouragement to her and simply spoke blessings over her, she would be lifted up and maybe even begin to smile; she would be encouraged.

Of course, that’s exactly what I did. I began by telling her what an awesome job she was doing and that immediately brought a smile to her face. I spoke other encouraging words over her and not only did her countenance change but so did everyone else who was standing in line behind me. By the time I left the store, which was really only a matter of ten minutes, I was encouraged myself! Win, win.

The kingdom of God is here, living inside each and every one of us. It’s not supposed to remain there. It’s supposed to be shared, transplanted in dark places or even in people who have no hope left. We have the answers to all they need. When we encourage others we are bringing light into their current darkness and isn’t that where light belongs, in the dark places? Aren’t we to be messengers of hope? I believe encouragement can be (and is) a great big doorway into bringing the kingdom to earth and transforming our neighborhoods and cities; one kind encouraging word at a time.

Let’s purpose to do this and if you do, come back and tell me about it; I will be greatly encouraged too!

So go! Get out there and encourage someone, right now, today!

 

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Who Are You?

Image made clear

You know you can totally stop the enemy in his tracks, right? It’s true, you can. It all takes place when you finally figure out who you are and stand up and resist him. Fear will no longer control you, shame will not be able to make you run and hide away. Identity is that big – no, it is even bigger than that!

Identity is what makes the glass clear so we can see the image of us renewed into the image of Jesus. This is the image He sees us as and dare I say, knows us as? This is also the place where the Holy Spirit is leading us. He is our teacher.

So rise up into who you really are! Be bold, be strong and courageous; the enemy is raging but he has nothing in you! You are just like Jesus if you will only believe.

I challenge each of you to boldly go before the throne of God and ask him to show you how He sees you – it will change your life. And when you are changed and are seeing clearly through that mirror who you ARE, let’s get together and go rescue some more people!

Speaking in tongues – judging not the Body

Sunflower half

 

Speaking in tongues…

Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

 The scripture referenced above is the one I think of most often when I think about speaking in tongues and maybe I’m not the only one.

Do we all think this? Do we expect everyone, ALL to begin to speak in other tongues when they are filled with the Holy Spirit? Do we allow for any exceptions in this?

I hope so, my experience is an exception.

The day I surrendered to Jesus was an ordinary day, starting out like many other days. I was in my breakfast room it was only me and Father God; no one else. There wasn’t an altar call that led me weeping down to the front of the church to repent of my sins and beg that Jesus accept me. No, it was nothing like that at all…but that is another story for another day.

At that time, I didn’t know a thing about speaking in tongues. My husband was praying for people in the Healing Rooms every week and fairly soon, I began to join him there praying for people too.

As it turned out, everyone in the Healing Rooms spoke in tongues. Apparently, it was a big deal and it WAS the definition of intercession, at least according to one of the leaders there. Well, guess what folks; I didn’t have my prayer language yet and that made things a little awkward. Yet, even though I didn’t have a prayer language, I still heard and was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Every Saturday morning we went to the Healing Rooms to pray for people. Before those needing prayer arrived though, we would always have intercession over the day and the needs of the people coming, or whatever the Holy Spirit led us to pray for. We started off by worshiping first and then we would move into let into intercession.

During intercession, most people would pray in tongues, their prayer language. When they did, I kind of felt left out because I didn’t have a prayer language yet. One of the leaders kept telling me to pray in tongues, use your prayer language! I had to confess to him I didn’t have a prayer language yet.

Sorry.

Once I confessed I kept feeling like I was viewed a little differently than everyone else. I felt like my “salvation” was in question.

I began to believe it and I hated it! I felt like a fraud. Since I thought I couldn’t contribute to the intercession, the only thing I could do was whisper “Jesus” over and over again while everyone else interceded. I wanted to give up and go home. It didn’t help when the leader kept looking at me as if I wasn’t trying hard enough! He was a little frustrated with me; I was a little frustrated with me. I couldn’t figure out why I was different and what I did wrong that didn’t allow me to have this gift. I began to dread intercession and wished it were over so we could pray for the patients; that I could do.

I felt the Holy Spirit move through me as I prayed for others. I was even beginning to hear His voice more. I prayed over people every week – I even used words of knowledge to speak into their lives so why couldn’t I speak in tongues? Sure I tried all the practicing and babbling that people will try and get you to do, hoping that would somehow trigger a language that is right there, just beyond reach, waiting for the right trigger to release it; all to no avail.

It wasn’t until almost a year later that I got this precious, long-awaited gift.

Paul was out of town and I went to a Kingdom Entrepreneurs meeting by myself. There was a guest speaker I really wanted to hear. (I can’t remember this gentleman’s name, sadly.) This man was a disciple of Dave Roberson, the author of The Walk of the Spirit the Walk of Power, which I had read two times already. I was so excited about this meeting that I was even willing to go without Paul which wasn’t normally the case.

During the meeting, this man told testimony after testimony about speaking in tongues. He spoke of how so many breakthroughs came in his life through this gift. My longing was stirred up so much while listening to him! I kept praying, “Lord, I want this gift!” “Lord, why can’t I have this gift!” and so the night went with even more stories.

When he had finally finished speaking of such powerful things, he did a version of an altar call; except this time it wasn’t for salvation – it was for the gift of speaking in tongues! I ran…lol. I was first in the line of about 8 other people.

When I got up there, he didn’t pray, he spoke to me instead. He then grabbed my hands, touched my head and said, “Speak” and I looked at him in a funny way. He said it again, “Speak”! And I spoke! I spoke so much I was laughing and crying, all at the same time. It was amazing, it was weird and I couldn’t stop! No seriously, I couldn’t stop! For three or four days, I spoke in tongues – out loud, under my breath, and even in my sleep.

It changed so many things. Now I could pray even when I didn’t know what to pray – finally!

Do I always know what I’m praying? No, I don’t. But what I do know is that when I pray/speak in tongues things happen in the spirit and in the natural. Things move that I don’t know about until much later sometimes.

Something I find interesting about praying/speaking in tongues is that my language changes over time. It also changes depending on the need. My prayer language for general intercession and warfare are much different. One is almost like worship and the other is more like a weapon. Neither is consciously decided upon when I start praying, it’s moved by the spirit.

Sometimes I pray out loud and sometimes under my breath – I think under my breath would be the most typical. You know, at work, at the grocery store, at the bank – wherever there is a need for prayer but not necessarily a need to be heard by everyone.

I probably take this gift for granted a lot of the time. It’s simply something I do, not something I think about. But whether I think about it or not it is an amazing gift from God that can and will move mountains. And by the way, it has nothing to do with salvation. Nope.

I tell you these things because we as a Body need to let God be God in peoples lives and give grace to those who may not be walking the exact path that we are. So what if they act or believe a little bit differently. So what if what they are currently preaching is “old hat” to you and you believe differently. It matters not! There is one Body, but many parts,  (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). We are not all supposed to be the same. How boring would it be if we were?

I have a group of believers that I have gathered around me. Or maybe it was God who did it. Either way, we are not clones, these friends of mine. We are a diverse group of believers who learn from each other and hold each other accountable. But, we are not alike in every aspect of our theology or beliefs. That is what Grace if for and we love and honor each other greatly.

I would admonish us all to give grace to those who differ from us. Give honor to those who are different because they are God’s favorite ones and He loves them more than we can even know.

(I apologize for about 4 different rabbit trails! 🙂 )

 

 

 

WAIT – Walk Always In Trust

God is my mentor

Give up worrying. Trust that God is with you, always.

In my walk with God, I’ve done a lot of teaching and equipping. While I do this with joy, sometimes I would love it if I had someone who was sowing into me, maybe a spiritual mother or a mentor. I’ve never really had either of these. It’s been more of me coming alongside other leaders and serving them…
One day a few years ago I was on my long commute from work heading home, and my heart was somewhat heavy. I was feeling a little worn out and lonely. And yes, even having a wee pity party. I began asking God, “When would I get a spiritual mother or a mentor that would sow into me. When would I find someone who would teach and equip me?”
That’s when I heard God speak. Very softly He said, “Ginny, these things you want, that’s what you are to many others. You teach and equip them for their journey and you pull treasure out in them that they never knew was there. I do these things for you. For now, it is enough.”
When He said these things, it WAS enough. I felt peace envelop me and I wasn’t sad or lonely anymore. It was my answer and I’ve never worried or cried about it since.
Today, I have others who come alongside me share to share this journey.  They encourage me and teach me, often without even knowing it. They are amazing and life wouldn’t be the same without them. I know God placed each and every one of them beside me.
If you find yourself feeling discouraged or even sad about things in your life, be sure to listen carefully – I’m pretty sure God has a plan for you too. He is your greatest encourager and the greatest mentor you could ever find.

Royalty and Honor

Royalty and Honor - crown

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.

Royalty and Honor - knight

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.)

Royalty and Honor - children

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.

Essentially…

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.

Applause

 

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.

Experiencing God’s Voice

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

Looking for the Victorious Bride

 

Victorious Bride 2

Imagine for a moment what Jesus’ wife looks like. What type of person does He desire?

In my imagination, I think of her as being about as perfect as you can possibly be. I see her doing everything with excellence, no detail missed. I see her as kind and compassionate to those around her. I see her as extremely beautiful, inside and out. Her heart is so full it’s overflowing with love. I see her as the Proverbs 31 woman.

But the one thing I don’t usually see is ME being His bride, His choice. Sure, intellectually I know I am His bride but I don’t see all her qualities in me. I’m also probably right in thinking I’m not alone in this either. Maybe the solution to this is to begin to pull those blinders off because He does see us this way. So…

What does she look like?

The Victorious Bride is beautiful. Her beauty begins on the inside, with her heart. Have you spent much time reading Proverbs? If you have you’ve seen a great picture of the Bride. You’ve probably also noticed that her eyes are not focused on herself too much, but instead are gazing at what she can do for others; her family and those around her in need. She is the epitome of wisdom. Her gaze is fixed on her Beloved and she seeks wisdom for all she sees and all that is hers to steward. The Bride loves the Bride.

She is courageous and bold, loving and compassionate.

She has a ready word for those she meets.

She is not harsh, nor is she judgmental.

She is intelligent and full of grace.

She is longsuffering and will take the time to listen to the needs of those she meets.

She is kind and goes out of her way to bless many.

She has eyes that shine brightly with hope.

She is a bringer of peace and an ambassador of joy.

She is a nurturer and will comfort you with her loving arms.

She is the mother of hospitality and will feed you with wisdom from above.

Where is she?

Actually, she’s right there, staring out of your bathroom mirror at you. Can you see her?

You and I both are the victorious bride. There are many days I don’t feel very victorious. Life is hard sometimes and it doesn’t look like I’m winning. Instead, I struggle with self-doubt and that tends to make me frustrated and angry. If during those times I could set the disappointment and sadness aside I would realize that those feelings, while very real, they are not the truth. I am not a defeated victim any more than I am a disappointment to everyone. They are lies that I’m in the middle of believing and in doing so, I have become a victim through my own choices. Sure it wasn’t a conscious decision I made but it was still a choice either way.The truth is, I am victorious and I am His bride; so are you.

 My desire is to become more and more victorious. My desire is to be someone who will bring joy and literally change the atmosphere when I walk into the grocery store or anywhere else I tread. I’m tired of being tired. I am responsible for the change in the world around me and I want to see that happening. I want to be an encourager and help people find their path. I want people to smile when I show up because they know I carry compassion and bring hope to their lives.

How will I know her when I find her?

By faith, I have to believe I am who He says I am. By trusting Him, I will be free to take a leap into the scary unknown and go serve others. When I do this, He always takes care of me and then my concerns and distractions will fall away leaving me able to help others with their needs, not just my own.

I desire to be a victorious bride not only in words but in deeds and countenance too. I want to be seen as His! I want to be a bringer of hope to the lives of people around me! There are so many people who need what I have. They need my hope, they need my surety that love never fails. They even need my faith! But what they don’t need is my despair. My despair only speaks of my lack of faith and my lack of trust in God. I don’t consciously lack faith or trust but my actions and words may speak this loud and clear.

When I find her, she will look like me – she will look like you. We will be proud to be her and will realize the Bride in Victory is who we were meant to be. Yes, I said BE. We become her in rest. This isn’t a striving to become the issue – it’s a waking up into reality thing! It should be like breathing – we do it without thought.

I need to BE a victorious bride, reaching out to hurting people and being an example of unconditional love. It’s what so many in this world need – Love! I need to actually put legs to my faith in God and take my eyes off of me.

(Picture credit – https://pixabay.com/en/bride-road-dress-bridesmaid-dress-727004/)