Possibilities in the Promises

Problems are possibilities for God to show himself strong on my behalf. Impossible circumstances don’t cause the Lord to stumble…they provide opportunities for God to receive all the glory for the victory. I want to live in this place of hope. I am not naive to personal pain or desiring to minimize the very real struggles endured by many, but I always want to live in that place of expectation. Expectation and promise of deliverance, victory and peace.

As I was sitting on the bluffs on Galiano Island this week, I felt in awe of how small I was…not insignificant, but that the God who created the view for me to enjoy holds life and death, beginnings and endings,…all that co-exists in His creation in His sights. While my view was limited to as far as my eye could see, the Father’s vantage point extends past my limitations, around mountaintops, into valleys, past streams of water and oceans wide. He sees past and through all the circumstances that are heavy and exhausting. His vision is not limited by my circumstances.

Sometimes you have to come up higher…above the circumstances and up to the heights…to take in how vast, and yet, how detailed He has created around us. So much territory has not been travelled, not been touched by or tainted. Yet, the forest still dies, in order to be renewed…it is beautiful, but not perfect…by design…trees have to fall, give nutirients to the new growth of the forest floor. I am like that forest floor because above the small frustrating details of the microcosm of my life, at home, with family and friends, when I come up and look…to the east and the west…and my eye sees a small part of the enormous scope of the Father’s vision, it leads me to trust more and depend more on how He will sustain it all. He will sustain me in all circumstances.

My eye cannot see any of those problems from this vantage point, up on the bluffs…I don’t see…what holds me back,… I see potential, possibility…unchartered territory…and mountains worth climbing for the view. Rise above your circumstances, daughter, I hear Him whisper. Ah, there it is…peace with the promise.

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