Mining for Truth…and destroying old mindsets

I have learned that revelation of truth takes perseverance. It takes planning and intentionality, setting aside time to be in His presence. For years, I felt a tension between going to church, and doing “churchy” things and yet, feeling quite far away from the love of God. I grew weary of seeing a great divide between the public “church” life and the private heart life of knowing the Father. I was stuck in raw disappointment for a long time seeing passive pursuits of God’s heart all around me. I knew there had to be more about faith in Jesus…this “personal” relationship believers talk about than just being saved. Saved, yes, but thinking, believing, acting and pursuing nothing different from anyone else who didn’t “come to Jesus.” There is no power in Bible knowledge without a daily, living experience with Jesus.

There is tension, right here, in this moment with that last phrase because I know that the Father’s heart is for me to love those in my life whether they passionately pursue an intimate relationship with Him or not. When I get into this judgemental mindset, I am partnering with the enemy in criticism of a “child” He loves. I am resisting acting in love and in danger of sprouting bitter roots.

Just keeping it real, here, because in these moments, I have to battle this religious spirit that wants to get into my head. This is when I get into a quiet place and ask the Holy Spirit? “What is going on here and how can I be a part of your plan in this situation?” Usually, His answer: “Don’t hold back..declare My love” or “Don’t be provoked, do you trust what I am creating?” And right there is the gentle conviction, when I don’t trust what the Father is doing, I am walking in unbelief. I don’t want to go there…. This is when I know I need to take my eyes of my circumstances and raise them up to Him and kingdom possibilities. The fire of God always falls on a sacrifice, so when I give up my rights or thoughts on the matter, any deception coming from the enemy to breed disappointment or bitterness loses its power over me. And “BAM,” I am in a different mindset. But it takes intention, time and hiding in His presence to get there. I have found no easier route to getting free.

I know I am not there…being able to love like that. I battle this every day…some days with great victory, other days, in defeat. Thankfully, the Father’s love is without the same conditions…and with Him, every day is a new day. I really have learned to embrace the newness of every morning…a fresh start to allow Him to be strong in my weaknesses. I am learning how to see possibility and not disability…calling out words of life.

I can remember the month that the Father began to do a new thing as the beginning of the new life in Christ, I had been searching for. This journey has been a battle…of my mind, will and emotions. Old mindsets don’t crumble easily. (I still have to die daily to my flesh that wants to complain about the lack of progress). The Holy Spirit first needed to show me the Father’s love for me because without knowing I was loved, I would be unable to submit to receive new thoughts about Him and those He has put in my life to love. Even though the road has been rocky, I would never change the fire lit inside me to pursue more…to go to deeper places of connection with the Father and mine for hidden life-changing treasure. I know how to wait on the Lord in different ways, how to listen for His voice and receive comfort and encouragement from the Holy Spirit.

I have learned that some treasure is deeply imbedded…the Father desires to make his ways known, but knowing the Father’s heart comes through relationship as much as revelation. Not all moments of revelation come as “aha” moments…some need to be sought out, discovered…flushed out. I often don’t  stumble upon a new truth…I dig it up! Sometimes the process is painful as the Holy Spirit touches an area of my heart that has grown hard towards His truth, but I know His love for me is great. I trust Him to remove those branches that are not bearing fruit because His desires for me are always for my good.


Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3: 5,6


My understanding is limited by my human experience, but spiritual understanding is a higher, deeper revelation. Revelation like that comes through relationship with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in Acts that we would receive power through the Holy Spirit. John 14:26 says: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Proverbs 3: 5-6 is one of these verses, often quoted, and I have wrestled with it because of the words: “in all your ways submit to him.” It clearly does not say, “in some of your ways,” or “in the ways that come naturally or easy.” It says in “all” your ways. To keep on a straight path, it is important to know how to submit to the Father.

I am grateful for my family in the body of Christ who have spoken words of encouragement and correction into my life. I have taken these thoughts into prayer and meditation and found layers of revelation in the Word of God that penetrated deep into my heart. The process of mining for revelation has brought healing to my bones and restored joy to my soul (Proverbs 3: 7,8).

This is the gold in some of my treasure hunts:


♦ Don’t think you don’t need correction, deception is subtle

♦ God never changes, but our revelation of him does

♦ When we are subject to the Father’s mission, we can give and receive love

♦ The human response to pain is anger

♦ When I shut my ears because I am hurt, or stop loving when I don’t get my own way, I am walking in rebellion

♦ I can endure suffering

♦ Self-hatred is pride…pride is sin.

♦ Through Jesus, we can access the Father

♦ Read scripture with the Holy Spirit…asking him to show you the Father

♦ My reference point is what He said, not my experience

♦ Don’t let what I don’t understand distract me from what I know

♦ In the beginning God’s heart was for our best

♦ Unbelief always leads to disobedience

♦ Change your mind, not your circumstances

♦ Every strength not under the Lordship of Jesus can become a liability

♦ His love for us never changes, but our revelation of Him does

♦ We cannot separate God’s goodness from His Holiness…Jesus is coming for a pure bride

♦ Rebellion is choosing to negotiate…the key for break thru is being able to receive correction

♦ Humility is not relying on your own power or influence


T.

Seeing How God Sees

Ryan and I were travelling to Chicago for a wedding. As we took flight, I listened to a Bethel Podcast by Kris Vallotton titled Cultures That Cultivate World Changers. The question he asks is whether we surround ourselves by people who encourage us. Do we have people like Barnabas speaking into our lives? Do the people around us see through the spiritual lenses of the Father calling us into who God has created us to be, or are we surrounded by people who break us open with their criticism, expose our faults and partner with the enemy (sometimes unknowingly).

This alone is thought provoking, but the bigger challenge comes in the form of the opposing question: Are we being a Barnabas to others? Can we love like that? Calling people up to a higher place. Or are we people who hold people back through a narrow view of their ability? Can we bless others freely, as Jesus commanded us to in Matthew 5:44-45: “But I say to you, love those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” 

I have learned that in spite of myself, the Father loves me, right now, just as I am. I know He has plans for me…to know Him, have a deeper revelation of His presence in my life and that I am renewed and transformed over time. I am in a process, but in the process, His love for me is unchanging. He doesn’t love me more or less depending on how I mature, or how much fruit I bear, or how quickly I transform into the likeness of the Son. He just loves me.

Equally true, His love is limitless for those around me…even those I find difficult to love. He will go on loving them, in the same way, with the same unchanging, compassionate grace He has over me. He invites me to be like a Barnabas…to speak life into the heart of His bride. For myself, I have learned this has involved giving up my right to choose who to love and who to withhold love from…because the Father’s love is unconditional. He has called me to that kind of love.

It is easy to love when there is no fear of rejection or hurt. Loving “lovely” people comes without sacrifice. I am grateful for those relationships where loving is easy with mutual feelings and intentions. Graham Cooke writes in his book Towards a Powerful Inner Life:Our true self, wrapped up in the spirit and living in the love and pleasure of God, is completely unafraid of being hurt.” This love is the fruit of the spirit. Loving in the power of the spirit is open and does not fear rejection. Agape love does not wonder what it will get in return for its expression. Agape love, loves without strings, demands or expectations for getting a return for the effort.

I have read the Corinthians love chapter in seasons of my life when loving felt hard and wondered “how can I love like that?”


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7


The freedom to love someone in process comes when I remove myself from a position of being the author or agent of change and resist the temptation to partner with the enemy.  In a quiet time, I often confess, “I know I am seeing this situation through my hurt or my disappointment. Open my eyes to see how you see, Father, to better understand how to love and show grace in this situation. How can I be your daughter of encouragement?”

Surround ourselves with people who believe in us and build a culture of encouragement. To hear more listen to Kris Vallotton here:

http://podcasts.ibethel.org/en/podcasts/cultures-that-cultivate-world-changers