Living Light

Stirring The Deep


A Spirit-Led Judging Response

A Spirit-Led Judging Response


By now, I am sure most of you have heard about the so-called healer/revivalist of Lakeland, FL Todd Bentley. Just google his name and you will find plenty of information.

Reading blogs, articles, and witnessing the responses of those around me including myself, two things stood out to me about this whole episode besides the insatiable unhealthy appetite for signs and wonders and a desperate hunger for hope:

1. Lack of Discernment in the Christian community
2. A fear of man instead of fear of God creating a lack of resolve to stand up for God’s truth

Discernment and fear of God are both required to judge others as God instructs us.

When Todd was making headlines and drawing crowds, an acquaintance said, Isn’t this great! Whether or not he is of God, God’s name is out there, He is moving, working, healing! My expression must have spoken volumes, because she basically told me not to be a kill-joy and stop being judgmental. I kept my mouth shut, but my spirit was whispering – listen to me something is wrong here. I rationalized I didn’t have the facts (that was the first time I heard about him) and I didn’t want to get into another “heated discussion” in an already stressed relationship, so I didn’t say anything.

When I got home, the spirit convicted me on my silence stance. The spirit gave me the discernment but I didn’t follow it and I put the fear of causing contention in a relationship over what the spirit was prompting me to say.

I should have trusted the spirit’s lead and whatever came out of my mouth was what needed to be said and leave the outcome up to Him. In silencing the spirit, I dishonored her, God and me by suppressing the spirit’s voice. I felt horrible afterwards. I started to beat myself up for being weak and pathetic, and then I turned to God. He patted me on the head and said, Don’t beat yourself up, but did you learn the lesson, don’t put anyone or anything above Me? Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple”. I and my truth come first. Trust what I tell you, you don’t need all the facts; I have them just trust my voice (discernment) and put me first always (fear of God).

In Luke 14:26, Christ is telling us to choose Him above everyone else. Who is first is who we fear, who we seek to please, and whose will we follow. I needed to listen to the spirit, trust Him, and speak up. By remaining silent people think we agree, people get hurt, and our witness for God is marred. And if we don’t act on our spiritual discernment, in time we will lose it as we are witnessing among the masses. Matthew 25:14-29

We need to stand up for God’s truth and heed the voice of the spirit. We are called to judge and discern among those who call themselves brethren. We are to judge the actions not the person. Judging the person whose heart we can’t see isn’t our role. Our part is to judge the actions, behaviors and words. Matthew 7:1-2, 1 Corinthians 14:29, 1 Corinthians 5:12-13

Without a spirit-lead judging community of believers the truth becomes watered down and perverted, people are hurt and led astray, and our testimonies are weakened and ineffective. This experience cut me to the core in regards to the importance of listening to the spirit’s whispers, putting God above every relationship, and speaking out against the actions of others when prompted to by the spirit.


The Greater the Victory

The Greater the Victory


The greater the possibility of defeat, the greater the victory.

Soon after we moved to California my husband and I were at a point of having spent all our savings on trying to start a business. We had no jobs and a house mortgage that could cover three houses the same size in Tennessee, where we moved from. Yet, we believed that God put us in this house. A steadily draining bank account with no replenishment in site seemed to be a pending defeat waiting to consume our lives. The waves were crashing into the boat and starting to sink us.

You can look at this experience two ways; one stupidity for not selling sooner or an opportunity to witness the power, mercy and care of God. We opted for the latter. Still green in our Christian walk, this trial went to the depths of our souls. Did we trust God was our provider and not ourselves? Did we truly believe He was in the details like His Word says? Were we going to rely on that still small voice telling us He would provide and there was no need to sell our home? Did we honestly think He cared that much about little ole’ us? Did we think He could provide the money we desperately needed? When you have to act on your beliefs then you know if you truly trust what you say you do.

A month from going under, we took a break from our job search and headed for the beach. We spent a couple of hours talking about our situation, God, and the possibilities of what would happen. There was no question we weren’t selling. We decided to rest in the promises of God we had been studying. No action, no faith. If we not now then when? If we don’t trust Him with our lives, then what is everything we had been learning for? Is He our God or isn’t He? Several times, we paused let the water dash over our toes and wondered at the amazing peace we felt. Shouldn’t we spend every waking hour trying to find some income? Shouldn’t we be nervous wrecks?

We followed the whisper.

God provided. We didn’t have to sell our home. The blessings started to pour into our lives. We trusted Him and He was faithful. That trial put our relationship on a different level with God because acting on our trust in Him breathed life into His promises.

Looking back the choice was between; believe God and enter into His land of promises and rest or stay wandering around in the desert until He provided another opportunity to demonstrate our trust was in Him and not us.

The possibility of defeat was huge as it banged at our back door, but looking back the enormity of the defeat made the victory all the greater and sweeter. It is a time in our life that we often reflect upon to give us peace, a time we felt the caring perfect mighty hand of our Lord.

Our ultimate purpose is to be one with God in truth, will and desire. Everything we go through is for that purpose. These moments when the possibility of defeat are great are the most powerful in increasing our union with Him. We have to call upon like no other time, we have to expand our trust and depend on Him with all that is within us and those acts take us deeper into His presence.

In a boat the waves crashing all around, I sit starring into Your eyes. The storm is great, but You control the storm. It is only a matter of time before You calm the waters. You look at me; what, who am I trusting? Am I scrambling to and fro, calling to others to rescue me, or paralyzed with a panic stricken stare? My eyes remain fixed on you. I see nothing else but you and your love and care for me.

2 Samuel 22:33 God is my strength and power, And He makes my way perfect


What God is Offering Us

What God is Offering Us


Now that I am here in the midst of God’s presence enjoying His kingdom, it astounds me how deceived I was about this life and resisted it for many years. Fear kept me at an arm’s length. I thought my life would be boring, miserable and no fun. I thought I would be chained to should to’s and have to’s, and live a life of suffering, lack, discipline, regulations, because it was good for me. Therefore I wore a Christian shell. I didn’t want God that close.

Where did I get this impression? Mostly from churches and other Christians who wore a forced smile while their lives were miserable – it wasn’t very compelling. Despite what they said, I wasn’t convinced they had much to rejoice about, therefore I believed what God was offering outside of eternal salvation wasn’t that desirous. I made judgments about God based on man. Stupid and nonsensical I know, but most people, Christian and not, do the same thing.

After coming to several low points in my life, when I felt I didn’t have much to lose anyway, I decided to give God a try.  I found a life totally unexpected, nothing what I imagined and it had been waiting for me in the Word the whole time.

I had to look in the Word to find the truth, not others. Many churches and Christians portray a wanting life because they are living by manmade doctrines. Man’s ways bring death, God’s life. Just because someone says they are speaking God’s truth, doesn’t mean they are. Fear blinds us, misconceptions deceive us, and a lack of seeking keeps us in bondage.

The life He is offering to those who are willing to give up living their way and seek His is nothing but tremendous and desirous; a life of provision, protection, mercy, truth, peace, rest, joy and love. You don’t need hell to scare people into His arms. He is offering what everyone wants unconditional love. What God desires above all is love; to love us and for us to love Him. Mark 12:30 How incredible of a God is He.

Instead of hell fire that doesn’t foster love, but fear, what we need is truth about God and what He is offering us. Look at what God desires; freedom, love, rejoicing souls, overflowing joy, and sincere praise for all His goodness toward us. He doesn’t even want us to try to earn His affections with good works, but asks us to rest and trust His work in us. No other god is like Him.

Many believe this wonderful life is only on a spiritual level and in the physical realm we continue to suffer like everyone else. Believing this lie kills our witness and dishonors God’s love for us. My experiences don’t support that thinking and neither does His Word. It is replete with examples, physical examples, of how He desires to bless and does bless His people; healing sicknesses, restoring lives, delivering from fears and afflictions, providing for needs, and helping in troubles. He is all consuming. His care is very real and active in our lives, if we trust Him.

Believing God’s blessings are mainly spiritual not only kills our witness, dishonors God but also blinds us to what God wants to do in our lives. If our lives are lacking and yet we believe that is how life is then we never probe deeper. Our problems are to wake us up that something needs attending to. Manifestation of pain is the beginning to the path of freedom. Fears, troubles, and afflictions are to drive us to seek and draw near.

For example, learning His ways verses ours takes time. Often we think we are doing things His way when we are serving our manmade religion. When we serve the wrong thing we experience lack or discomfort because God is trying to get our attention that something is off.

Also, God tests us. We are going to be in situations that test what we really believe. Our finances will run low, we will struggle with an illness, and a relationship will be strained. God is asking; do you believe I am your provider, healer, and deliver? How we respond, who we go to, what we trust in will give Him our answer. Believing those things are just life, also gives Him an answer.

And then there is that a constant battle in our souls between our beautiful new spirit and our decaying flesh that gives heartache and frustration.

All these things cause discomfort, pain, and frustration but that is not were we are to stay, they are all opportunities to witness the power of God, to increase our trust in Him, and to draw near to Him in a way we couldn’t if we didn’t have them. If we accept them as life, we miss out on their purpose, to push us into the presence of God and to experience His mercy and love.

We have a constant hope which fills us with a deep lasting joy. God is on our side. When He is our trust we are victors. What gives God glory? Not defeated miserable lives, but triumphant ones and He has given us everything we need to be victorious, if we will surrender and do things His way. We are our own worst enemy, if we can learn to humble ourselves under His hand – we will find true peace and rest, then our lives will glorify Him.

For most of us, our lives aren’t reflective of the life God wants to give. The road is narrow and few find it, therefore, we can’t depend on others to show us what a life in God’s kingdom is about; we have to go to His Word, the pure Truth. When we read it with a heart to know and not prove our own philosophies or some else’s, we will discover the path of life.


We are the Sum of Our Beliefs

We are the Sum of Our Beliefs


We all believe a conglomeration of statements that make up our lives. We are the sum of our beliefs. We think and act certain ways because of them. Change our beliefs and our lives will change with them. Because our beliefs underscore all we do and who we are, God wants to instill His truths in every recess of our souls; truths that bring true life. He asks only that we abide in His Word, the Bible, to allow an opportunity for those truths to come in. When we do then He will work His truths in our lives and we will begin to experience true life.

The inter-working of His Word, Spirit and our lives is what implodes His truth into our souls. You can read a passage or verse a hundred times but then one day it is unveiled to you. For the first time you understand spiritually what it is saying and the truth becomes your own. What changed? The Word remains sealed until the Spirit unveils it to us and we are ready to experience its truth in our lives. What makes us ready for our beliefs to be altered? I can think of at least three things; a surrendered life, a prepared mind, and an accurate viewpoint.

First is surrender. If we hold on to our beliefs, we will miss out on the truth. We have to be willing to give them up because many are full of lies that hinder God’s truth from making its home in us. If we believe one thing we won’t believe another. That is the whole idea of a belief. Once we dive into God’s Word with a willingness to put our ideas aside and learn from Him then we will start to unlearn all the lies we held and His truth will replace them. And there isn’t one aspect of our lives His truth won’t cover.

Second is preparation. We learn His truth one layer at a time, precept upon precept, and it is orchestrated with the events in our lives. God determines what and when we learn His truths. Only He can unseal the Word while at the same time orchestrating our circumstances for those truths to move in. Our part is to prepare our minds by abiding in His truth, if we don’t then we are keeping the door closed to His truth penetrating and changing our lives. Abiding means we are in the Word on a daily basis with a will to believe.

Third is an accurate viewpoint. If we believe the Bible is just a text book full of stories and parables to instruct us how to live and who Jesus is we miss the point and it is no different than any other book written by man. But if we believe that is a living Spirit, that abiding in it is more like a relationship than reading a book, and that its words have power to penetrate our lives then this faith enables it to pierce our souls.

For lack a surrendered soul, insufficient preparation, and faulty viewpoint, people can be well versed in the Word, like the Pharisees, and yet miss it altogether. All they will see is the physical layer and the deep spiritual truths that bring power, freedom, and true life remain hidden. Our lives are the sum of our beliefs.

Pursue your God in His Word; believe in the Spirit’s ability to teach you; and surrender your soul to discover Him and true life.