Living Light

Stirring The Deep


The Book

The Book

For several years I worked on a book, Stirring the Deep. As I enquired, what now Lord? God told me, “Rachel, people don’t need another book. They need THE book, the Bible. Lead them to read my Words, the words of life.” Now that may seem disheartening, but it actually wasn’t but exciting.

We’ve all been encouraged and inspired by the words of others. It’s a sweet fellowship to connect to another through their words. But now more than ever, God desires us to come to Him in a very intimate way, not through middle men and women (leaders, pastors, writers, etc). God is calling us to abide in a rich deep union with Him, one-on-one. He is revealing Himself to those who are seeking Him with all their heart, soul and mind in powerful and personal ways. It’s an extraordinary time. It’s time to remove all that hinders and dive in deep into Him.

Books, like teachers and pastors, can often impede the development of our intimacy with God when we lean on them when we should be dependent on God. Books can be encouraging and enlightening. God uses others in our lives in many ways. However, we can easily depend on them when we should be depending on God. That is what happened to me.

Years ago, the majority of books on my bookshelves were self-improvement, Christian and non-Christian. I wanted deliverance, healing and to be the woman I envisioned. I figured the knowledge in those books would take me as they seemed to promise. Reading them was exhilarating, uplifting, and motivating, but it was more of an emotional high then anything substantial happening in me. After I had been reading the Bible for a couple of years, the spirit prompted me to get rid of all those books. For the next couple of years, they were expunged from my life. I didn’t read one. At the time, I didn’t fully know the reasons why or the impact it would have, but I knew it had to do something with learning to abide and trust in God’s Word first and foremost, which it absolutely did and more.

During that time of solitary focus, I developed a solid foundation with God and on His Word. It became my source of truth. It opened me up to a powerful communion between me and God. It imploded truth into my life. As the years passed of abiding in His Word getting to know God, the deliverance I sought (often in those books) started to come. I wasn’t abiding in God’s Word to be healed, but that is exactly what happened. I wanted to get to know, draw close to Him. But the healing came and it wasn’t just the healing, but abiding in His Word started to affect EVERYTHING in my life. That difference fueled my passion in writing a book about it. I wanted to share what I discovered with others.

Removing those books from my life revealed my dependency on them. I realized how much I was seeking deliverance from those human writers. I believed reading their words was a sufficient replacement for reading the Word. I thought truth was truth. But reading God’s Word isn’t just about gathering knowledge it’s about cultivating a relationship, a relationship with God. In that relationship your life truly changes; not because of your efforts but because of His presence and promises at work in your life. Nothing can replace that dynamic.

At first it was hard (though I knew those books weren’t “working”), because those books were easier to read and more straight forward. And I was so use to thinking that is what you do. But they are the words of man. Though they may have been expressing God’s truth, they weren’t God’s words. They lacked the power of what dwelling in His pure Word trusting His Spirit to teach you imparts.

A couple years later, I picked up my first Christian book. I couldn’t believe the contrast! It had good content that back in the day I would have been reveling in. The writer spoke truths of God that He had taught me early that year. It was incredible. But what stood out to me is how the author’s words paled in comparison to what I received from the Word – which was powerful beyond my expectations. To fully understand the difference, you have to experience it. The gap between abiding in God’s Word verses someone else’s is enormous. Why would we settle for human words when we have His?

It’s easy to become dependent on others, whether authors, preachers, teachers, and/or leaders, when we should be on God. But this dependency makes them into an idol. And often we don’t realize our dependency until they are removed from our lives. If we don’t have a dependency, then we can live without them and God is more than enough.

Putting away those books was one of the best actions I took for my relationship with God. Previously, it was like I in a marriage with my husband and everyone else and often spending much more time with everyone else. When it is just you and God, the intimacy gained is astounding. This is why abiding in the Word of God alone during your quiet time is so critical. Give sole attention to God, and read those other books at another time. Give Him all of your attention, the attention He deserves. You may feel you get more from the other books so that you need them, but that is because you truly haven’t experienced a deep intimacy with God that is far greater. Allow time for that intimacy to develop. It isn’t instant. Though it may be tough at first because you are use to those other voices, if you can stick with it – it will reap tremendous benefits. Then when you do read another’s book, it’s a sweet fellowship, not dependency.

I’ve been reading, So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobsen and Dave Coleman. It’s a good book. It resonates with much of what God has taught me over the past couple of years. I enjoy the way the writers state aspects of God’s truth. But reading the truths these two men have learned doesn’t replace me learning those truths from God. When we learn from Him, He changes us and it becomes our truth. We don’t want to exchange the intimacy we could be gaining with God by being reliant on others’ experiences of God – it’s a grave loss.

As for my book, it was a tremendous time of healing, renewal, learning and growing. God used my writing to focus my mind on the truths He was teaching me in His Word. It laid the foundation for what I do today and probably will do in the future. It laid the foundation for passion I have in helping others cultivate a real relationship with God. I wouldn’t change those years spent writing for anything.

My passion isn’t for people to read my book, but to read God’s book for it’s a fountain of life. And not to read it like a text book, but to dive into its pages as you would spend time with a loved one to cultivate a deep relationship. I’ve learned the difference between man’s words verses God’s Word – I want you to have the very best and to abide in His for there is where the power lies.

We only obtain a relationship with God if we start talking and listening to Him ourselves; not from reading about another’s journey with God but living our own.

Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

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Accountability Partner – The Spirit

Accountability Partner – The Spirit


At a company I use to work for, there was a period where gossip was a problem. I tried to keep my distance, but sometimes I got lured in for that’s the nature of the beast. (And as I’ve learned giving a listening ear to gossipers is the same as being one). A co-worker tried to hold me accountable to resisting the gibberish. The office was small so it was easy to see just about anyone from any vantage point. When the clacking hens starting gathering to exploit the latest drama, my friend gave me a look that I knew right away – run! I did.

As believers, we can help each other from certain pit falls, like my friend helped me. HOWEVER, we are really accountable to God, not to one another. Thus, we need to be pursuing another dimension of accountability – listening to the Holy Spirit’s counsel. He holds us accountable to a level we can’t get from others, because He is within us and His will of what is right for us is different and beyond any others.

If we are listening, we will hear His voice of instruction at a wandering thought before we act on it. Ever since I’ve been cultivating listening to Him, the accountability has been extensive. I never realized just how much “course correction” I needed. But, He speaks with such love and mercy that all I feel is encouragement and motivation to heed His wise counsel. When accountability comes from Him, it’s never about guilt but truth and love.

Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

As I read this verse, I thought about how “reproofs of instruction” are a way of life for me in two senses.

One, I’m constantly receiving reproofs of instruction from the Holy Spirit. A wrong thought pops in my head, an irrational fear, or an outward temptation comes my way and He is there calling attention to it. He reframes, refocuses, and refines and keeps me headed in the right direction. I’m thankful for His corrections in my life, yet reading this verse is a great comfort, because I get them all the time. Now that I know it’s a way of life I feel better. I was beginning to wonder.

Being corrected by the Holy Spirit isn’t a phase we will grow out of but a way of life as long as we are in the flesh bodies. We are constantly battling ourselves who are like wandering sheep. 1 Peter 5:8 The Spirit helps us to navigate those roiling waters.

Our journey here with God isn’t about walking perfectly. It’s about listening and acting on the counsel that keeps us walking on the “paths of righteousness”. It’s much easier to nip something in the bud, rather than try to remedy the ramifications later. The best time to stop a wayward step is when it starts as a thought. For this reason, the Holy Spirit who dwells in us is the best accountability partner we will ever have.

When we talk about accountability we often are referring to someone on the outside. However, true accountability comes from the Holy Spirit for we are accountable to God. The Spirit resides within us and if we listen He is able to keep us from acting on those wayward thoughts. Sure there many times we act so quick there isn’t much time to stop the thought before it becomes a reality, but if we are listening the Spirit is swift to redirect us.

The second meaning of reproofs of instruction is the way of life is that the Spirit’s instruction leads to life, true life. When we heed the Spirit’s instruction we abide in what is love, constructive, wise, and purposeful. At any one time, our thoughts are either coming from God’s truth or the lies of the world. When we are listening and following the Spirit’s instruction we remain in the wisdom that is from above that brings abundant life. It’s for our best to take heed to the Spirit’s counsel in our lives. God desires abundant life for us, if we are listening and following His voice that is where He will lead us.

Gaining the Ear to Hear the Spirit

How do you get an “ear” for the Spirit’s voice? By abiding in God’s Word. In His Word you develop an understanding of what His voice sounds like, so that you can discern it from the others. Otherwise, you won’t know the nature of His voice. It’s like sensing the “voice” of a particular author. They have a certain character, style, and sound that distinguishes them from others. As you read their works, you learn to differentiate them by their unique “voice”. When you abide in God’s Word you learn to recognize His voice. There are MANY copycats to His voice, so it’s critical to learn what is truly His.

Next, you get an “ear” by practicing listening. During your quiet time where there is stillness and quiet, try to listen during your prayers. Most of us are so busy talking but not listening, one of the most important parts of prayer. In addition to listening in the Word and in prayer, set time aside at the end of your quiet time to be still and listen. This practice has had a substantial impact on my life. I’m much more sensitive and in tune with the Spirit’s voice. Though I have a long way to go, it has made a significant difference. It’s having the most qualified counselor constantly by my side.

Finally, take time to be still before each major task during the day to pray and listen. Eventually, you will form a habit of listening throughout the day.

I encourage you to take time each day seeking to hear His voice – it will change your life. In listening, you are drawing closer to God, who loves abounds toward you and wants your very best. He wants to lead and help you on that path to abundant life, but you have to take time to listen so you can follow Him.

Proverbs 10:17 He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.

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Just Don’t Have Time

Just Don’t Have Time

In a conversation with an acquaintance, I was sharing my passion of helping others to develop an intimate relationship with God. I have a long way to go, but I’ve discovered a path that has absolutely changed my life. As I was talking about spending time each day to cultivate that relationship, he said, “That’s great, but who has the time?” Very few people do.

The reason for not taking the time to abide and meditate on God’s Word, pray, talk with Him and be still to hear His voice, is not having extra time in the day. This excuse is probably the number one reason I hear. It used to be mine. But I learned something very important . . .

We don’t have the time because we aren’t making that personal one-on-one time with God a priority.

We all have the same amount of time. It’s OUR choice how we spend it. Now, we may of made a slue of wrong decisions so that we are a slave to so many things that discretionary time is non-existent, but bad choices aren’t written in stone, especially with the power of God at work in your life. God can reconstruct our lives starting today by us making better choices, specifically putting Him first in spending time with Him. This issue of making better choices brings up the first reason why we need to make spending time with God a priority and how that CRITICAL decision gives us more time to do what we need to. There are many reasons, but in consideration of your time – I’ll list four ☺

1. Wisdom – How we all could use more wisdom! God tells us that wisdom is the principle thing and to ask and seek for it. Proverbs 4:5-7 Our life is full of choices every day – and without wisdom from above we will make choices that enslave us instead of free us and keep us from moving forward toward where we REALLY want to go. Without wisdom we make bad decisions that bind us, so that we don’t have enough time for what truly matters. Wisdom comes from abiding the Word of God in faith. Got wisdom, got time.

2. Live of Balance and Rest – God desires us to have a balanced life – not one of chaos, frazzled and hassled– something very few people have as reflected in the fact that they don’t ever have enough time. Throughout the Bible there are verses about how God desires this soul state for us. Abiding is His Word brings this equilibrium into our lives. When we abide in truth, He starts to reorganize our life and priorities, which leads to a life of balance and rest. If we put Him first, He works out the rest. I’ve experienced this truth over and over. Putting Him first, requires trust and letting go, two things that come from cultivating a real relationship with Him. Got balance, got time.

3. Life free of lies – Lies bound and enslave us. The truth frees us. Many of us have bondage in our lives because of the lies we’ve mistaken for truth. We lack the healing and deliverance because we don’t have the truth. Truth heals. This bondage steals our time. For example, we try to prove and earn our worthiness by taking on all sorts of obligations. When you spend time with God each day – the truth starts to replace the lies and freedom is the result.

Women in particular, perhaps because I’m a woman, have fallen for many lies influenced by society about who they should be and what it means to be a successful woman. Ultimately it’s a life demanding EXTREME busyness. It’s an insane standard of existence. Believing those lies has created many unhealthy women on many levels. What is the way out? The truth. The truth comes from drawing near to God, because He is truth. When we draw near to Him, He invades our soul and brings the Truth with Him. Got truth, got time.

4. Power of God – As God invades our soul as we spend time with Him, His power and all that He is starts to manifest in our life. His power enables us to do things we never could; make our paths smooth, surround us with godly favor, makes us more productive and effective, defeats the enemies within and without that cause hardship, brings healing and the list goes on. All these outcomes of His power at work help us to live smoother, more productive, and restful lives. Got power, got time.

We are trying so hard to strive for __________. When we are neglecting the One who can make all the difference in moving us into a place we desire to be.

A life WITHOUT an intimate and growing relationship with God, isn’t life. It’s a mad house of extreme effort and never getting to where you really want to be.

God is life. Only by being deeply and actively in communion with Him do we have true life as well. Because, ONE – He desires to be in an intimate union with us, so it will never work apart from Him. TWO – He desires for us to live a purposeful life glorifying His power and love, the one He uniquely created for us to live. You can’t disconnect the two for together they are the fulfillment of our purpose.

Not making time to spend with God keeps us in a place where we will never have the time. Not having time is no longer an excuse, because it’s the answer. Now rethink and reorganize your day and put Him first. It’s a decision that will put you on a path headed to where you really want to be, consumed in Him and abiding in abundant life.

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The Path To Our Desires

The Path To Our Desires


Poor little thing . . . when Sophie got spayed, she wore a plastic collar for several weeks. Unlike her brother, Malcolm, who was back to normal the next day, she carried the burden of this plastic garb. Though uncomfortable and hindering to her activities, it was necessary for her to properly heal. Without it, she would yank out her stitches, reopen the incision, cause an infection, and delay the healing for weeks – making the situation much worse.

When we first brought her home, the collar was so big she could hardly lift her little head, use the litter box (as it got stuck in the sand), eat and drink. She walked pushing it along the floor. Our hearts broke. We tried a bandage; it didn’t last two seconds. Why the vet put that huge collar on her I don’t know. We cut it to fit her, yet left it big enough so she couldn’t access her stitches. Though smaller, her sleeping, eating, and playing were much more uncomfortable.


During the first week, the most critical because she could do the most damage, my eyes hardly left her little frame. If she or Malcolm removed the collar and she tore out the stitches, she would be in a mess. After several days, she stopped trying to remove it; she finally surrendered.

We both wanted her stitches out, Sophie and us. She wanted them out now, but that would have led to more pain and a longer healing process. We wanted them out AND wanted her healed in the best possible way; therefore she had to endure the collar.

Sophie’s situation reminded me of our journey with God. As God’s child, we desire to be who He created us to be, and do the good works He has planned for us. Ephesians 2:10 He places desires in us to motivate and direct us toward these goals. The desires are planted in our hearts, but it’s God who directs our steps to manifesting them. Proverbs 16:9 Often, His path is different from our own and often longer. Like Sophie, the desire was the same, but the paths to getting there were different. She needed the collar to get to where she wanted to be, though she didn’t realize it.

God renews, heals and shapes us to move us into becoming new creations in Him and into the works He has planned for us. Sometimes, the best path has difficulties, like wearing that collar. It’s through difficulties that we are broken, refined, and rebuilt. It can be uncomfortable and seem unnecessary as we don’t always understand why we need the trial. We can feel hindered in doing what we should be doing like Sophie. Yet, with God all is purposeful and for a reason. He won’t give us more than we can handle. Our burdens are the perfect fit to accomplish what is necessary. They provide the best possible journey to prepare us for the life God desires for us, which is ultimately our desire.

Malcolm & Sophie

Further, we can’t compare our path to another’s. What is best for us may not be best for someone else. Therefore, comparing our journey to another’s doesn’t make sense. Unlike Sophie, Malcolm didn’t need a collar. Didn’t seem fair, but they received exactly what they needed to get them to their desired state. We need to trust our caretaker, God, who especially during trying times has a watchful eye upon us, is allowing in our lives what needs to occur so that we end up where we need to be.

When Sophie, stopped fighting the collar and surrendered to it, her life got easier and less stressed. In a similar way, when we are obedient to what God tells us to do, we move forward more easily. Disobedience is a hindrance. Because of God’s grace, we sometimes take advantage and are disobedient to what He tells us to do, but it’s we who suffer for it. It delays our progress to where we want to be. We have to trust His path and trust eases the stress. Though the path is difficult, it’s THE path by which we will experience deep healing, growth and freedom. God doesn’t only care about the works He has planned for us, but the state of our soul. HIS path prepares us for what He has in store.

Our love for Sophie is tremendous, yet how much more is the love of God for us? Our hearts broke for her to wear the collar, but it was for her good. It may be difficult for God to see us in our hardships, but He knows it’s the best. His love is perfect.

Our path to our desires can be difficult and a process. We are battling against the flesh (our self-will wanting to do it our way) and having to let go of being in control and instead trust God in all His ways. We want instant, but instant is a rarity with God. Deep transformation is a journey. And it’s through the journey we build a deep intimacy with Him. God is a trustworthy and faithful Shepherd watching us every step. Psalm 32:8 We have nothing to fear. He wants us to be in an abundant life more than we do. Our part is to trust and obey what He calls us to do today and trust Him with the outcome (our desires).

Sophie was much happier in the end for having worn that collar. Had we done it her way, she would have been much worse. We too are better for the trials God takes us through because we end up in a better place in our soul. As God’s child, if we are abiding in His Truth and seeking His will, we can trust the path we are on is where we need to be, and He is leading us to where we want to be, His way.

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Breaking the Mold

Breaking the Mold


Spiritual hunger, afflicted souls, unbound wounds, lack of wisdom, famished souls, and constant hardships; bondage seems to be increasing among God’s people.

There are several reasons for these troubles, but I want to address one many may have not considered. Plagues, pestilence, and famine are pronounced upon the House of God in the days of judgment, which I feel we are entering. Jeremiah 24:10 Therefore, it’s essential to examine in accordance to God’s truth our place in the church system (CS). Revelation 18:4 In the end, we are going to see a lot of turmoil in the house of God as the enemy, “Satan” (our deceiving self-will), takes over the sanctuary. Lam 2:7, Jeremiah 25:10 If we are in a place of the “father of lies”, our souls are in a perilous position. John 8:44

Why perilous? First, the CS is an anchor of trust for many people, which in these days is a dangerous place to put your confidence. Church should be like going to the in-laws for a Sunday brunch. We hang out, chit chat, disagree, and encourage. It no way should replace our marriage (our relationship with God). Yet for many, church and religious leaders have moved into people’s lives, where God should be reigning. They have to go or they feel guilt or unfulfilled. It is their spiritual nourishment, focus, and priority and for that they have fallen for the lies and their marriage has suffered.

Second, the Bible says a multitude of leaders will lead many astray by their unrighteous deception (lies posing as God’s truth). One of the most effective deceptive tactics is twisting God’s Word just enough. (A good reason to be leery of the recent Bible translations that are moving further and further from the original manuscripts.) If we are under a leader’s influence, who is knowingly or unknowingly given into lies, we aren’t giving our spirits much of a chance. If that is our trust and our place of truth, then we will fall prey to the deception. Jeremiah 23:16-17, 34, 40 A wolf in sheep’s clothing looks like a sweet, caring, innocent sheep, remember that.

God doesn’t want any to fall for this deception. He has given us what we need His truth – it is OUR LOVE for the TRUTH that will save us. But we need to take heed to it. 2 Thessalonians 2:10

Being in CS is one of those beliefs Christians rarely question, I never did. Because of the lack of questioning and the pressure to conform, people remain where they are despite what is happening in their spirit. They ignore or justify what they feel. However, there are a growing number of believers who are seeking greener pastures. Being prompted by the Holy Spirit and seeking the truth from God’s Word, they are leaving the CS. Not the true church, which they are actually are clinging more to and becoming. They are moving into the green pastures of God’s Word and into the true church. This move isn’t easy because of the pressure and other various reasons, but it’s the call on their hearts.

Inquire of God about your place in the CS and be willing to hear any answer. I recommend taking a break for 3-6 months from the CS and abide faithfully in God’s pure Word (like the KJV) every day to hear and discern His voice among the others. Seek to know and draw near to His heart, He’ll reveal it to you. If God is truly your trust and not the CS, you’ll be able to take a break. I suggest this because if you are seeking while under the influence of the father of lies you aren’t giving your soul much of a chance to really hear. Don’t think that you are stronger enough, deception is called deception for a reason. Seeking takes time as you read the books of the prophets who foretold these days (i.e. Jeremiah, Isaiah, Amos, Revelation), and trust God to teach you. He is an incredible Teacher. There is nothing more important, because it affects your soul and those around you. I once assumed that to be a Christian was to be in the CS. It was an error that kept me in deep bondage. God has taught me something quite different and it changed my life.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions like:

Why am I in the CS, really?

Have I really sought God’s will about it for today, the time we are in?

Do I go because of that’s what I do? That’s what others do? That is what a Christian does? Why do I think that? Because others say so, my pastor says so? Because it is God’s will? Have I really sought His will?

Have I read God’s pure Word seeking His will – and not only listened to a person’s interpretation of it?

If I were to stop going, how would I feel? Why do I feel that way?

Who do I really trust? To nourish, protect, counsel, and provide for my spiritual needs? The CS on some level?

Where does God really want me?

Do I make abiding in God’s Word a priority in my own quiet time?

God desires none should fall prey to deception. He has told us what to do, how to fight and now to conquer any harm that might come our way – a LOVE for His TRUTH is our guard and defense. But we must own it and act on it. We are to abide in it with faith and a heart to follow God’s truth and no one else’s. You have nothing to fear, if you are truly seeking Him and His truth in His pure Word.

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