Living Light

Stirring The Deep


The Choice

The Choice
Whom Will We Serve


2 Chronicles 15:12-13 – and whoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

Luke 14:26-27 “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. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

Luke 14:33 “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Some powerful verses, aren’t they?

The Choice

We have a choice to make; a choice between God’s will and our will. Are we going to follow our way and what we think is best or are we going to follow God? Which we choose will determine if we enter into the kingdom of God.

We can only choose if we know what our choice is. Therefore, we have to learn who God TRULY is and who we TRULY are. Only then can we decide. Otherwise we may be choosing ourselves and not realize it or choosing a false image of God, not God.

This choice is the one Adam had to make. He chose himself when he chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He decided he could choose what was right, good and best in his life. Like Adam, we all have this choice to make, our way or God’s. But first we have to see God and see ourselves.

Born into Self-Will (sin)

We are born in this world following our self (sin) – like the fallen Adam. Bound to this self will, we learn to trust our pride, strength, intellect, ideas of what good is, and goodness. Our trust is in us. What we trust is our idol/god. We experience life with us at the helm. We see what it manifests. We have no idea that there is another option because it is all we know. We are blinded to God’s way. We haven’t learned of it therefore can’t chose Him or walk in it. We will do what we know. What we know we trust.

Then something in our spirit awakens. We become aware that there is another way; to trust God instead of us. This first awakening is what people acknowledge with the “sinner’s prayer” – it’s simply awareness. This awareness plays out in four ways as in the parable of the sower of the field. Matthew 13 Only the seed, the Word, that falls on good soil continues on and prospers. Good soil is the soul nourished with the spirit and truth. Though many have awareness only a fraction choose God.

Seeking God to Choose Him

Until we seek God grounded in the Bible with the instruction of the Holy Spirit, we don’t have the information to make the choice of truly denying ourselves to follow God. John 6:45 One, we aren’t fully aware of the self that is contrary to God (sin is a symptom of self, it’s self, the source, we are to repent, turn from) second we don’t know God deeply enough to trust Him with our lives. How do you really trust what you don’t know?

At this awakening, we can choose to pursue God or not. Pursuing God means seeking Him with all our hearts to know Him deeply and personally. It isn’t easy. It takes commitment to diligently seek. We need to get to know God amidst all the deception that fills our lives, which keeps us from this very act. Lies like you don’t need to seek, you don’t need to read the Bible, you just need to do be a good person, and you are too busy. There are many counterfeit substitutes within spirituality to keep us from digging deeper so we can truly make a choice for God and believe.

If you believe there is gold in your backyard what will you do? Go dig. If you believe God is your God what will you do? Go dig. If you believe only God is righteous and you aren’t therefore you don’t know what is truly good, then you will seek God and His ways and truth because you are clueless. You’ll desire to draw near and know Him. Faith without works is dead. Faith is believing and trusting in God and His ways. You can’t follow what you don’t know. To truly know God as He is and not some image concocted by you or this world, you have to get to intimately know Him. You have to get to know God and His ways in order to follow them. You don’t choose what you don’t know and trust. Believe is a loaded word.

This need to seek is why the path is narrow to life and few find it. Matthew 7:13-14 It takes commitment and diligence in seeking God. This is why many are called few are chosen. Matthew 22:14 Of the called, few choose to seek out God and get to know Him as He is. For those who truly seek God, they are able to choose between themselves and God because they understand what the choice entails.

Christian Image – False Security

One of the greatest distractions from seeking is buying into the image of a follower of God. Once you think you’ve found, you stop seeking.

This “image of a Christian” keeps people from seeking. (One who lives the manufactured Christian lifestyle) This manufactured image misleads people into thinking they made a choice when they haven’t. This “image” has a fundamental trait – no real necessity to seek God to get to know Him. It deludes people into thinking they have God when they don’t because outwardly they’ve changed their actions. They have only heard the call but they haven’t sought to really be able to make the choice. They are still following self.

In Matthew 7:22-23, people were doing great acts in God’s name. But they were doing what they thought best, thus living by their righteousness and not God’s. They never spent time to really get to know God. They lived the image of a Christian but were far from truly being a Christian.

This is why God says to seek Him. Amos 5:4 In seeking, you get to see who He truly is and who you truly are. In that awareness, you are able to choose between Him and you. Choosing Him is believing in Him. Believing means He is Lord in word and action. This is true faith.


KNOW God’s Love

KNOW God’s Love


God is love. All He does is in love. 1 John 4:8

A wealthy wise woman had a beautiful daughter. That daughter was the source of her affection, delight, and love. The woman desired to give her all that she had, but gave only what was best for her daughter because she loved her greatly. She would never do anything that would cause her harm.

As the daughter grew she began to doubt and question the love of her mother and what she could and wanted to give her. She couldn’t understand why she couldn’t do everything she wanted when she wanted. She listened to her friends who mischievously caused her to doubt and question her mother’s intentions. She listened to people who didn’t know her mother. She listened to people who wanted to destroy her mother.

The young girl decided to go out on her own. She separated herself from her mother and her love and from the richness of life she desired to give her. She struggled to make ends meet; she made a slew of bad decisions bringing on pain and heartbreak. She lived in fear, worries and anxieties. All she knew was a corrupted love from people who wanted to take advantage of her. She never knew true love. The mother’s love never faded. She longed for her daughter. But she couldn’t force her to know her love. It was her daughter’s choice.

What stands in the way of this girl and knowing her mother’s love are lies. Influences of the world led her to believe something different than what was real, but her belief created her reality. Like this young girl, lies prevent you from seeing God and thus experiencing the fullness of His love. This world governed by darkness has constructed a web of lies that keep you from knowing the love of God. The lies penetrate every dimension of life. The lies, starting in childhood, bind you and keep you from the truth like the importance of seeking God in His Word (the gateway in this lost world to deeply knowing God thus His love), the true value you have, the true nature of love, and God’s perfect love toward you. Trapped in lies; fear, worry and anxieties abound because you can’t see God and His love for you. Knowing God’s love brings peace, rest, and joy to all circumstances because you can trust His love and that He is perfecting all that concerns you. Psalm 138:8

The fundamental aspect you need to know, deeply know, about God is He is love and loves you. Without this understanding you can’t really trust Him. Most assume they know God’s love, especially Christians. However, they are often the ones most blinded to their lack of knowing because they THINK they know. When you think you know, you don’t seek. Many have stopped seeking or never really started. They are consumed and blinded by their activities, good works, programs and ministries all in the name of God, yet they’ve forgotten God in the process. Revelation 2:2-4 As a result, they don’t really know God’s love because they haven’t spent time getting to personally know Him. All they know is what they’ve been told. Knowing God leads to experiencing His love. Knowing comes from passionately seeking Him one-on-one, not in a group.

Fears, worries, doubts and anxieties are all signs of lacking a deep understanding of God’s perfect love. If you could plainly see God you would never have another fear, worry or anxious thought. 1 John 4:18 You would see how every aspect of your life as God’s child is under the watchful care of loving Father. Luke 12:29-32 Deep knowledge of His love brings all His desires for you to reality – truth, dependence on Him, unity with Him, peace, rest, and a life of faith.

What you believe creates your reality. If you believe in God’s love you can trust Him and follow His voice wherever He leads. If you doubt His love for you, you won’t be able to fully surrender to Him, how could you? Our work is to believe. Believe in God. Believe in His love for us. John 6:29 Because of the deception and lies that abound, it’s work to believe in such an amazing and perfect love and get to a place of true peace and rest.

How do you penetrate this web of lies to deeply know God and His love? You have to cultivate a deep relationship with God, then you’ll know His love. Seek to know God within the framework of Truth, His Word. The Bible is the doorway out of the web of lies to the truth. Through it the Holy Spirit teaches you and shows you who God really is. It’s a process of pealing back the layers of lies you’ve held since birth. The lies you hold run deep and many below your conscious level. It takes diligent seeking and a love for the truth. But, God promises if you seek you will find. Luke 11:9 Realize you are bound in a web of lies that keep you from an intimate relationship with God. Knowing the truth is what sets you free. Don’t let this world lost to depravity keep you blinded to all that God desires for you.

As you get to know God, then you will honestly choose God and a life united to Him. You will begin to experience rest and peace in all things as the fears, worries and anxieties start to fade. Like the young girl, it’s a lack of understanding that keeps you distant from God. Draw near to Him in truth, and you will find a loving God who will astound you. Never think there isn’t love for you from God. That thought simply means you don’t know Him. But if you believe in that lack, then that is how you will live your life, not trusting God and thus living apart from Him instead of in unity where all His blessings reside for you. He loves you. All He does for you is done in perfect love. James 1:17 This truth is what you are to seek in this life and once you discover it – you’ll be able to trust God as He calls you to.

Deeply, personally knowing God is the foundation for all for it enables you to truly choose Him as your Lord and Savior. You won’t trust Him to be Lord of your life if you don’t know and trust in His love for you. You will continue to hang onto your own self will and life for that is what you know and trust.


The Awakening

The Awakening

Light as a sword cuts through the darkness
Where it goes life replaces the corpses.

A thought dispelled, a bond broken
An act redeemed, a life spoken

The voice long silenced breaks forth in song
A melody of love is forged and strong.

Truth takes flight changing the course of time
In response the soul plays a new rhyme.

A thought dispelled, a bond broken
An act redeemed, a life spoken

Thoughts transcend to a new dimension
Creating a path of freedom in redemption.

Though a flower dies upon a field of gold
A new bloom rises bearing eternity untold.

A thought dispelled, a bond broken
An act redeemed, a life spoken

Eyes wide open see a crystal lake
An awakening brings birth of no mistake

Heaven rejoices in voices and strings
For one new birth among the beings.

~Rachel DiPaolo
January 2, 2011


Love Letters to God

Love Letters to God 

In the last post, I recommended writing two love letters to God; one reflecting where you are today in your relationship with God and one where you would like to be.

The first commandment is:

Matthew 12:30 ‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.

How many of us actually live a life that fulfills this commandment? What do you do with someone you love? Do you do the things that cultivate a relationship with God in which you can love Him with all your heart, soul and mind? Sadly most are more concerned about following the commandments of men (i.e. being in church) and those are put first, while this one is lost in the busyness.

I challenge you to put God first. Seek for Him to be your first love.  Do what it takes to Love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Spend quality time with Him each day getting to know Him through His Word; talking, listening, sharing and growing in unity. Seek to learn from and listen to His Holy Spirit given to you.  Start by writing a love letter describing your relationship today and then write one for where you want to be. Then you’ll know where you are headed and then DO what it TAKES to get there.

Here are a few exerts from the letters I wrote. How limited our words are.

Exerpt of my Love Letter of Today

My Lord,

How my heart longs for you; your presence, love and truth. You are my everything. Apart from you I’m nothing and can do nothing. You are my life.  

Time with you each day means so much. I cherish each moment we spend together. It ills me to miss it. Your words spoken to me are perfect. You always know just what to say and when to say it. My heart longs to hear your voice constantly. Let your whispers ring clear in my ears. Be ever so close to me.

Thank you for the love you’ve shown me. It’s one far purer, deeper and more real than I’ve ever known. Thank you for the strength, peace and help you give me. Your faithfulness is my hope, delight and strength. I feel protected in our embrace. The shelter of your strong countenance give me peace.

I love you Lord. I want to know you more. I want more of you to consume me as I’ve tasted your goodness.

Exerpt of my Love Letter of the Future

My Lord,

We are bound, You and I, in the soul. We do everything together in unity of will, truth and love. You are the love of my life. Your love pulsates through me and others feel that vibration. I can’t stop talking of You for you consume my thoughts and my life. Our oneness is deep, rich, powerful and passionate. Only in your strength do I breathe. I see and feel you in every step and at every turn. Your words of wisdom fill my thoughts; I can’t wait to hear what you will say next. They leave room for nothing else.

All day long I hear your sweet whispers to me. In everything I think of and consult you, for our lives are one. I’m clothed in your love. May your fountain of living waters never cease to fill me. May there never be a separation between you and I.

You are my joy, strength and life. Your love is sweeter than any I’ve known. It changes, renews and refreshes me. I feel captivated by your love. I’ve never felt more alive than I do now.

Your spirit moves in me like a gentle breeze. It never leaves; even in the stillness the power of your spirit is evident.

I long for you and yet you are always there. I hunger for more and you constantly fill me up. There is no love like your love.

I feel the fortress of your countenance surround me and in you nothing can harm me.

Our footsteps are as one. My mind never wanders from your truth. My eyes never glance at another. I’ve know the perfection of our ways, there is no one who can compare.

In you my energy is boundless, I could run forever. Yet the rest and peace that fills every breath creates a balance of perfection.

With your hand under me there isn’t anything I can’t do; no challenge I can’t conquer. Your care for me overwhelms me.

I am most blessed among all to know your love. May you be the love of my life for eternity.

There is no better time than NOW to start getting to truly know God as He is so that you can truly love Him as He is.


New Year – Time for Goal Setting

New Year – Time for Goal Setting

Crumble up that piece of paper with your New Year’s goals and resolutions. We’re starting over, unless this word above is at the top of your list as the building blocks of your life.

As the New Year dawns, setting goals is a task that comes to many of our minds. We’re reminded of the goals we set last year, all the ones we didn’t accomplish (sigh) and the ones we did (yeah!) We reflect back on how life didn’t go as planned and wonder why we bother setting goals in the first place. Some of us resolve not to set goals so that we aren’t disappointed despite the proven fact that those who set goals accomplish far more than those who don’t.

As you are thinking about your priorities this next year, I want you to consider ONE very important goal. The most important goal you will every make because it affects all the others; a goal given to you by YOUR God. The first and most important activity you partake of in your life. Love God with all your heart, soul and mind.

Mark 12:30 ‘And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment

What do you do when you love someone? Think about the love of your life or the one you hope for. You can’t wait to see them. You make them a priority. You reorganize your days because of them. You are devoted. They consume your thoughts. You can’t get enough of their presence. You talk and listen, you hang on every word. You replay what they said in your head trying to figure out what they really meant. You share your inner most thoughts. You aren’t always hanging out with just their family and friends. You want to be alone and intimate.

This passionate engagement is how we should be with God. Drawing close to Him means abiding in His words and letting them permeate our lives in faith, stirring the deep. Just as we long to hear the thoughts, desires, will, and concerns of those we love, if we love God or want to grow in love with Him we will spend time with Him in His Word, listening, talking, sharing, and growing. And being with the family, other believers is wonderful, but it doesn’t and can’t replace alone time with Him.

Here is a little test for you. Who do you say God is to you? Do your actions match your words? Many say they love God, but their choices and how they spend their time tells a different story. Let yours tell the same story. Be authentic. Be real.

If God is YOUR God, don’t you want to know (deep personal knowing) Him, especially because He tells you to know Him? Wouldn’t you want to know the One you are trusting with your life? Isn’t it true that we actually can’t truly trust without knowing?

I challenge you in this New Year to make your actions match your words. Make God a priority, THE priority. Spend quality time with Him each day in prayer, reading the Bible, and listening to His counsel. Spend time with Him as you would with someone you love. Treat Him like YOUR God. Treat Him like YOUR first love.

If you didn’t set another goal but this one, it wouldn’t matter because this is the only one that truly matters and when you do this simple act it affects every other purpose and plan you have.

A good goal is SMART

Specific – Decide on a place and time each day to meet with God.
Measurable – Track the times you spend with Him.
Attainable – Chose a time that you’ll be able to be consistent. Consistency helps habits to form.
Realistic – Be realistic – like 40 minutes each day verses 2 hours.
Timely – There is no better time than now to make God THE priority in your life.

Over 10 years ago, I started seeking God and spending time with Him each day. It was the most impactful life-changing decision I’ve ever made. The ripple affect of spending time with God each day has been astounding touching every area of my life and every aspect of my soul. It’s the best discipline I’ve ever kept. It changed everything. I read Matthew 6:33 and did it. I didn’t worry about anything else; I just focused on seeking God. His Word is true – all else did follow as it should.

God made it simple – seek Him and live. Amos 5:4 He is the way to abundant life as He has planned for you. Don’t make it more complicated than it is. Seek Him. Put Him first. He’ll handle the rest.

If you are already spending time with God … perhaps try to take more time to being still and listening for His still small voice. With practice you can learn to tune into His voice more clearly to hear His perfect counsel and wisdom for you life. Also, try staying connected throughout the day. Pray before major tasks. Make additional time to be still and listen. Try to be more consciously connected to Him throughout the day so that you can pray without ceasing.

If you set any other goals make sure they are ones that allow you to spend time with God each day.

Start by writing TWO love letters to God; one reflecting where you are today and one reflecting where you want to be at the end of the year … that second letter is a reflection of where you are headed.

Happy New Year!