The year 2020 has been a year of many challenges. The world became subject to a virus that, in spite of a 99.5% survival rate, locked down small businesses, sent school children home, and put masks over what was, in the Jewish calendar, the "year of the mouth." Having spent many hours in meditation on the Lord's word and in the quiet where I hear His voice, I found myself moving slowly through the Four Gospels known as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Although I had set a goal to complete the entire Bible in a year, it was in this slower lane time that the Lord ministered many wonderful things to my heart.
One example was found in Chapter 5 of the Book of Luke. Oh, how many times I have thought I had known so well the story of Jesus asking Peter, James, and John to return to the boat and cast off. This represents a story of faith in God and to take action even when, in the natural, the outcome looks bleak.
Obedience, anyway, in spite of the seeming failure and regardless of the physical exhaustion or mental feelings of defeat.
And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish! The net was breaking because there were so many! How much the three must have been delighted and their exhaustion turned to adrenaline and a surge of growth in their souls.
Next, Peter fell down at Jesus's feet to acknowledge his sinful doubt. Jesus replied,
"DO NOT BE AFRAID. From now on, you will catch men." (Luke 5:10)
The miracle of the large catch was the catalyst that brought the three to serve Jesus completely.
And here comes what I love about spending time with the Lord and His word. He connects His word to my life. In my spirit, I felt a connection to our current events. The Holy Spirit began to release connections and ministry to my soul as well as other scriptures. What I received is that we are in a time i our nation where much effort is being made to keep our nets (Constitution) mended. Legal battles have resembled the all night labor to catch up the right yield to save our democracy. Darkness has loomed this year with threat of a dismal dawn. Many who love democracy and integrity are weary, licking their wounds, some even conceding that the effort is lost.
As I ponder this, I hear the Savior's call to "DO NOT BE AFRAID." I declare to that hearing that I believe in My Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings, my High Priest, Lord of Lords, the Author and Finisher of my Faith, my rock, my Redeemer, my Vindicator.
Including but beyond the political battle is the hour of not only a great restoration of our country as well as the harvest of many souls to Christ. As a follower of Jesus, I have been called to let down my net and invite the body and those who seek Jesus and, in His words, say, "Do not be afraid."
ROAR INTO THE END OF 2020 AND INTO 2021!
Whether you have ever ministered to others, you are a minister. Do not worry what to say. Be as God told Moses. Open your mouth and let God deliver the words GOD wants. Allow God to use you whether it be for your country or to share your testimony to win someone to the Lord.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5 This is not a time for countdown but shakedown! Stand on your principles and know God is there with you.
So the Lord said to Moses, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Haven't I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be your mouth and teach you what you should say."
Beloved, God has equipped each of us with gifts and resources. Just like Peter, obey and let out that which He has told you to do. If you do not know your purpose, ask Him. Jesus said, "Ye have not because you ask not." (James 5:16) Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. (Matthew 7:7)
BELOVED, EVEN WHEN YOU FAITH MAY BE SHAKEN, CALL ON THE ONE, JESUS CHRIST, WHOSE FAITH NEVER WAIVERS. TRUST HIM AND TALK TO HIM. We are happy to pray with you and for you.
Keep Casting Your Net!
In 2004, I had a blood clot(s) which embolized through my heart and lungs. I was blessed those "stones" passed - and I didn't. Even though I survived, our much antiipated family vacation to the West was in jeopardy. A long drive was not the best therapy for healing arteries and veins. After a few weeks, I determined it was one of those "D" days for me - do or die. I had babied myself enough and figured, if I could endure some exercise and work in the yard, I'd be OK for the trip. I was in that mode of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". Since it didn’t kill me, we went on that trip. I fondly recall my climb to the top of a rock in Zion National Park where I proudly stood upon a beautiful red rock with my arms raised high in the air in praise.
What is remarkable is that Jesus knows how much I love rocks. I know this because of the way He ministered to me several years later as I began to A few accept Him more fully into my heart. I began to believe His promise, that “My sheep hear my voice…” (John 10:27). I committed regular quiet time to seek Him. Soon, I began to hear Him speak to my heart! Not only could I hear Him, I could fix my eyes on Him and tune into and feel the flow of his promise of living water. Jesus promises us, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink, He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, from his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-38) I testify it is a true promise and that God remembered my love of rocks which will be revealed here soon.
A second witness of my experiences occurred as I sought further teaching and insight about prayer and hearing God's voice. This led me to the teachings of Dr. Mark Virkler and to refine my process to include journaling. Dr. Virkler refers to these steps as the “4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice” and supports this also with scripture.
Habakkuk 2: 1-2
Key 1: Quieting yourself down
Key 2: Fixing your eyes on Jesus
Key 3: Tuning to spontaneity.
Key 4: and WritingI will take my stand at my watch post, and station myself on the tower,” (Stillness)
“and look out to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.” (Vision) Jesus)
“And the Lord answered me…” (Spontaneity)
‘Write the vision. Make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.’” (ESV) (Journaling)
I've included a link at the bottom to learn more. It's awesome!
So what does this look like? For me, I find a quiet place to sit and to be away from all distractions. I pray to God and thank Him and praise Him for all he does for me. I present myself to Him to be and go wherever He chooses for I trust the Lord that He knows the best place to minister to me. When Jesus is in the picture, we can trust and enjoy healing and peace. His love and guidance is specific, offers hope, and speaks to places within that only He knows how. At some point, you will find Jesus. Making sure Jesus is always in the picture, He takes me to places and speaks words which heal old heart wounds at a pace only He knows what we can handle. These visions have greatly enhanced my life bringing new peace and trust I have never known before.
Approximately 1/3 of the Holy Bible includes dreams and visions. So, that must mean they are pretty important. It's not just for prophets or priests or leadership, but for ALL his sheep. I mean, truly, haven't you found yourself waking up with a song playing in your head. Think about it. Your heart and your spirit is always awake. Perhaps you were worshipping God with the angels. Maybe those dreams are a message for you. I'll address dreams in another blog though.
Is this really Biblical? Some might say such experiences is New Age. I have learned in my own life and in further prayer and study that the difference is that New Age will entertain ANY spiritual experience meaning you will get mixed up signals. That means demonics too! I sure don't want any of that. I want only what God offers as He reinforces over and over in the Bible. It is no wonder that the enemy, satan himself, would want to corrupt dreams and visions for us so that we miss such an amazing opportunity to commune with God. Yes, time with Jesus is completely Biblical, and, certainly, Jesus is the greatest teacher. While Jesus is specific in vision He also spoke in parables to reinforce the importance of imagery. His stories will pull our minds to that well, that field, that multiplication of fishes and loaves. Picture language is the language of God! Can't you see it! If we keep our eyes on Jesus, we are safe.
As I try to quiet down, often in my favorite "prayer chair," I will place myself in various places. It is quite often on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. One morning, the Lord joined me on the seashore of the Sea of Galilee and began to pick up and skip rocks. He did not say anything but continued to skip them in great fun. I picked up a few rocks and began to skip them also. I felt a sudden release of stress and found myself like a child again.Then, the Lord said, “Those rocks you are skipping should be like your worries and concerns. Let them skip along the water’s surface. Don’t let them sink into your soul.”
My heart was further lifted as my mind noted cares needing release to Jesus. It was wonderful! He has reinforced that worry and fear are the opposite of faith and are contrary to any useful purpose. Growing in Christ, I began to cling to the comfort of His promises as well as those of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:6-7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” I learned to quote scripture in my trials to push the enemy back from my mind as well as to allow Christ to renew my mind. (Ephesians 4:23)
Life's challenges, and sometimes Jesus' testing and growing me, can put me up to the shoreline to choose whether to release my cares to Him. On numerous occasions, Jesus has given me a mental visual flashback to the rock skipping scene. Sometimes that's enough to let go.
As I was growing in more regular release of my anxiety to the Lord, a new issue arose that "rocked” my newfound paradigm. Even though I knew the issue was a test, my soul willfully suffered several days before I released it to the Lord. Then, the Lord spoke to my heart and said,
"That's a rock you didn't skip."
edIsn't God a true wordsmith! He speaks and the whole world is formed.(Genesis 1:3) He speaks and we are healed. (Matthew 9:6-8)
On another occasion on the Sea of Galilee, I found the Lord sitting on a buck board wagon along the shore. As we traveled the rocky shoreline, I asked the Lord why we were taking such a bumpy and slow ride. Jesus replied,
“Sometimes our travel is over rough rocks,
but I can help break them up and allow light to enter.”
It was not until a few weeks later that I understood what the Lord meant. More inner healing came as some tough "rocks" Jesus had prepared to help me release. He patiently did a work in me to set me free of some buried rocks of guilt and shame.
Spending quiet time with the Lord is the best part of my day. He is a Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6) who brings healing to my heart. I pray you also enjoy that time and can hear His voice. I pray you consider those “rocks” you may be holding onto that are weighing you down. Get free! Surrender them to Jesus and live in His abundance and grace. Accept what Jesus will offer you as He will surely offer help to smooth out the rough edges of your heart. Life struggles to grow from stony ground. Cling to the one true rock - Jesus Christ. (Psalm 18:2)
If you are still not sure how to release your burdens to God, open your whole heart to Him and just starting talking to Him. Pray for Him to lead you to wise counselors who can come alongside you in your faith journey. Smile and let God have your heart. He created it. He can fix it.
Happy skipping! God bless you! If you would like more support for hearing God's voice, please contact me.
More info about the 4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice