Living Light

Stirring The Deep


“Marriage” with God

“Marriage” with God

Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore! Psalm 105:4

A true union, marriage, with God comes from seeking Him in truth and Spirit. Romans 7:4 God tells us to seek Him. The purpose of seeking God is to know Him as He is so we can trust and walk in His will so that ultimately we are one with God in love. That oneness is eternal life. The goal of our faith is to become deeply connected to God and seeking is what makes that relationship a reality. God calls us His bride, we know that means to desire Him and be with Him like one we love, but to understand more closely the nature of our union with God, let’s dive into the heart of a good marriage.

A man and a woman dwell together in a bond fused by intimate knowledge, solid trust and boundless love. They are singularly committed to one another in this passionate union. She knows when he needs a comforting touch with his favorite meal, what outfit ignites his passion, and when he needs down time with a pizza and football game. He knows what dress always fits just right, when to listen and not advise, and the importance of one more pair of shoes. Held in the space between them is the delicacy of family dynamics, the secrets that give a mischievous smile, and the irritations that push all the wrong buttons. Protected in sensitive awareness are vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and challenges. Hopes, dreams, and aspirations are shared and supported. These are the valuables that pass between a husband and wife. This closeness and openness is possible because they know each other enough to trust one another with the most guarded parts of their souls. A trust that knows they won’t deliberately harm or hurt one another and that they are accepted, safe and protected. They have faith in one another because they know one another and in the midst of this closeness true love blossoms in their hearts.

Now, consider your marriage with God. You dwell together within His kingdom because His truth is in your heart. He is in you and you are in Him. He gives you His life, and you give yours. Your souls are knit together by the interlocking of knowledge, trust and love. The deepest mysteries and truths are shared between you; thoughts, dreams, desires, hopes, and promises. Guarded in a protective embrace are your life and His truth. Love and delight for one another fills your hearts. You abide in His Word and He transforms your soul. Under the care of His love, He tends to your needs, concerns, weaknesses and fears. You call out to Him and He hears you, and He speaks and you listen. You cling to Him because He is your life and He loves you because you are His bride. This picture is a slice of what a marriage looks like to God.

What we are in search for is this personal, passionate connection with God. It’s manifested from the interplay of knowledge, trust and love. Both the example of an earthly marriage and our marriage to God contains these three characteristics and without them the bond would not exist. Seeking brings knowledge. With knowledge comes trust. Trust is a prerequisite in a relationship like marriage where there is a high degree of intimacy.

Psalm 9:10 “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You”

Finally trust leads to love, the goal of our quest. Love is the motivation and the desired outcome of any intimate relationship. Love cares, gives, forgives, heals, restores, hopes and endures. It is selfless, humble, longsuffering, gentle, and kind. Love is based on truth, faithfulness, devotion and loyalty. It is this attribute that defines all other truths. Dwelling in God’s love far exceeds the experience of any earthly expression and seeking for it is unlike anything we have experienced before. It is a pure, consuming, transforming, and powerful. When we abide in God and Him in us, we possess this true love to know and give.

Seeking is our means to this union because it leads to knowing. Knowledge fosters trust which enables us to live the life God has called us to live in Him; a life of abiding in His love, the sum of all His desires for us. He wants to get under our skin and we under His to the point that we are enraptured by His presence. To consider this deeply is astounding, and this is God’s desire for us.

God loves you, what will be your response to that love?


Seeking God in Truth and Spirit

Blog Talk Radio: Seeking God in Truth and Spirit

A new PODCAST (click here to listen)is available on trusting Seeking God in Truth and Spirit.

Overview: The main difference from a maturing believer and one who isn’t is a seeking heart. Those who diligently seek to know, trust and love God are those who experience Him and abide in His kingdom. In this show, I talk about what this seeking entails, why it is important and how God rewards those who seek Him. Seeking is the key to knowing God in truth and Spirit and walking in His power. It is what changes your life to be united to Him.


Drawing Close to God

Drawing Close to God

The ultimate choice we have to make is between following God and following self. Following God leads to eternal life and following self leads to death. To be in unity with God, we have to turn from our self-will (true repentance) and follow God’s will. In following God we seek to do only His will, just as Jesus did. John 5:30 But we don’t know God’s will unless we seek to know – thus why God tells us to seek and live. Amos 5:4 When following self we do what we think is good and right – whatever it is.

To learn about God through the Bible a similar approach must be taken in order to draw near to God in truth and spirit – we have to deny self.

God tells us to believe in Him. The Bible with the instruction of the Holy Spirit is a gateway to deeply knowing God so we can believe in Him as He is. This venue isn’t everyone’s; for we are all unique. But it is a part of my journey, and for you who feel called to this thought-provoking venue will resonate with my journey.

Reading the Bible isn’t about learning “techniques of good living” to then fulfill our own purposes and desires. We have to let go of all our self-will in coming to God in order to really know God and for Him to be our Lord.

There are three areas of denying our self-will when abiding in the Bible in order to learn about God, thus draw near in truth and Spirit.

The first area is in regards to making time to seek God. It’s putting abiding in the Bible to be taught by the Holy Spirit as the priority. Consider all the times you’ve put something above spending time with God, when God has told you to seek Him first. Matthew 6:33 Times you choose to sleep in, attend to another person, do a task, or get consumed in work. At those times, YOU are deciding what is more important versus doing what GOD has told you to do – love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, to put Him first, and to diligently seek Him. This choice to do what you want is following your self-will. When you continue this pattern, deep down you think you know better, otherwise you would do what God says. So who’s will is dominating in you?

The second area is who you focus on when you do abide in the Bible. To get to know God through the Bible, you have to set your needs, wants, and expectations aside and focus on God. If you read the Bible with the mindset and motive that is focused on you, then you aren’t denying self, you are putting self first. You are putting your self-will and what you think the time in the Bible should be about above seeking to know God. Instead of saying, God, what do you want to teach me? What do you want me to know about you? It’s always about fixing you, searching for a certain answer, or preparing for a Bible study. Whose will is in control at this point?

If your interactions with your spouse were always about you, you would learn very little about her/him. There would be no true intimacy or bond. You would do what you thought that person wanted, but you really wouldn’t have a clue. You haven’t sought to know him/her intimately because every interaction has been about you. Therefore you wouldn’t have a real relationship, certainly not a healthy one. With God it’s the same. We have to realize we don’t know God unless we individually seek to know Him. Until we do we have a false image of Him, which means we have a false relationship. It’s necessary to seek Him while putting ourselves aside to know Him as He is. Then we’ll start to develop a real relationship.

The third area has to do with conforming the Bible to your beliefs versus the Bible molding your beliefs. It’s realizing that you have filters and ways of viewing God and the Bible that are wrong. That you hold ideas that you think are “truth” but aren’t. When you come to learn of God, you have come with a humble heart which is willing to receive and hear anything God may teach you instead of trying to fit the Bible to your paradigms. If you think you already know, you don’t really seek. You conform what you read and hear to what you already believe. If you think you already know then who are you following when you abide in the Bible?

In order to know God through the Bible, there is a choice to make, God or self. It’s a prelude to the ultimate choice of choosing Him in everyway over our self-will.

The way to life is choosing God. The only way for the Bible to be unsealed to you so you can draw near to God in truth and spirit is to choose God in these areas. If you don’t deny self when coming to the Bible to be taught by the Holy Spirit, then you are reading for your own purposes and goals based on what you think is good. Your will is in control. This is how the Pharisees could know the scriptures, but be totally off. They used them to fulfill what they determined was right and good.

God has to be first. He is Lord. He can’t be second.

One side note, letting go of self-will isn’t about losing your identity. It’s coming to the understanding that God’s will is good and leads to true life and therefore that is what you want to do. If you were walking through a dense forest and you had a guide with you who knew the best and safest way to get through it, what would you do? You would follow him. Same with God. God knows the path to life. We walk with Him when our will is submitted to Him because then we are walking in His footsteps. The journey leads us to what we’ve always truly and deeply desired, because God is that good.

Tomorrow when you sit down to learn about God through the Bible consider these three areas. Ask the Spirit to examine your heart; are you really making this about God and seeking Him or about you?

Leave a comment

Holy Spirit as Our Teacher

Blog Talk Radio:  Holy Spirit as Our Teacher


20150224_141008A new PODCAST (click here to listen)is available on trusting the Holy Spirit as our Teacher. It’s an important topic for us all to consider and to examine our lives by.

Overview: An essential element to cultivating a deep and real relationship with God is trusting God to teach us about Himself. Believers have been given the Holy Spirit to teach them all things. But often we lack trust in this perfect teacher. In this audio, I talk about the Holy Spirit as our teacher and why it is critical to trust Him in this role in our lives.


What Are You Made Of?

What Are You Made Of?

Mark of Self – the one you don’t want
Revelation 13:17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

Mark of God – the One you want
Ezekiel 9:4 and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”

The other day at the gym, I saw a man with a tattoo on his forearm of a bar code with the words “Made in Rio” above it. It struck me, the mark we bear reflects by whom we are made, thus by what we are made of? The man with the tattoo was “made in Rio” – a part of that heritage, culture, beliefs, and family. Each of us is a part of one of two entities made up of a heritage, beliefs, and family …

Ultimately, there are two options by which you can “be made of”; self or God. There is no neutral ground. Either you are made of God or made of self, which is under the sway of “evil” (what is contrary to love) because it is counter to God. 1 John 5:19 What we are made of starts in our minds and in our wills – that is why the mark is on the head (mind) or on the hand (will). Revelation 13:16

Which mark do you bear? Take time to contemplate this question in the light of Truth. Many are deceived in thinking they bear the mark of God when it’s truly of self; for that is what deception is.

What makes up your thoughts? What do you meditate on? Ideas of people, religion, or philosophies of this world? In what do you really trust? What do your actions show?

Have you experienced a renewal of your mind, a mind transformed from seeking your will to God’s will? To be spiritually minded instead of carnally minded?

Whose will do you truly desire to do? Yours or God’s? Do you desire to do what you think God wants or do you spend time daily with Him to truly know Him and His will so you can walk in it?

Who do you serve truly?

To have the mark of man is to strive to serve this life. It means you live by the wisdom of the world. You trust this wisdom fulfill your desires and purposes. You try to be the best in and of this world. Your mind is filled with thoughts and beliefs of people, institutions, etc. It’s ultimately about serving you; of course this can wear many disguises because to outwardly do so would be “selfish”. But that is at its core. You know best. The world tells you if you don’t live according to its wisdom, then you won’t advance. You can’t “buy and sell” unless you follow its protocol, bear its mark, own its philosophies and follow them, that is the only way you’ll advance to becoming to who you want to be, which will ultimately fulfill you and be good, of course.

Let’s dig a bit deeper. You feel you strive to do what is right and good. Even if you are oriented to be a good person isn’t that really serving your own need to be good and feel justified? Jesus said only God is good. Luke 18:19 So why do people strive for to be good outside of God? Possibly it makes us believe there is a change. We are different. We are special. We will be in God’s good graces, though we aren’t seeking His goodness. The only true transformation comes by the hand of God and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. It isn’t about our efforts but Him living and working through us. Many will be surprised in the end to see that they were really serving self, or the image of God constructed by self, but not God. They haven’t sought God to know Him to truly follow Him. How can you follow who you don’t know?

To be truly born again from above and to have a transformed mind is to “be made of” God. It means you have sought the truth to the extent to make a choice between self or God. Only the truth dispelling the lies of this world enables you to see past the deception the self will for what it is, death and destruction. With the knowledge of the truth of God and His ways, you let self go (true repentance) to follow God’s ways that bring peace, love, joy, rest, and life. Bearing God’s mark means you seek to live with God as Lord of your life, not you. Therefore, you seek to know God, know His ways and seek His counsel in all areas so you can walk in it. He is your first love. You meditate on the things of God. You want to advance and grow in the wisdom of God, not man, therefore you spend time seeking God’s wisdom not man’s. To seek God, to know, trust and live in and by Him is to be made of God.

Who owns you truly? Do you feel like a slave to this life? To the things of this life? How much time do you spend seeking God? How are you trying to advance in your life? All these things tell you who you are really serving, thus what mark you truly bear.


Just a Label or the Real Deal

Just a Label


The Real Deal


Matthew 7:22-23 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

There is a sad epidemic in our nation, the “Christian” image. It’s one of the greatest distractions/deceptions to prohibiting people from truly seeking God as He is. For those on the outside, they see the masquerade and turn away not only from it but from God as well. For those on the inside and a part of it, they think it’s life (as they have been taught), yet fail to enter into the kingdom of God. Thus, many are living a deprived and unfilled life and believe that is the life Christ came to give them. They’ve never entered into the true kingdom because they believe what they’ve been told; that they’ve already entered.

For years, I lived this image. However, bound in the deception of it, I didn’t know I was living the image. I thought I was the real deal. So I didn’t seek any further. Yet, my life was a miserable mud-pit (of which I had no idea the extent of until I started experiencing true life). In my deception, I actually thought my mud-pit was pretty good. See how Satan keeps us in bondage?

On the outside, I looked like a follower of God, but I was a follower of self. Even in regards to my “religion”. I did and trusted what I had been taught by religious leaders, not God. Therefore, I couldn’t trust God because I never spent time with God to really know Him to trust Him. I spent time with religious people. I knew them and what they taught, so it was in them that I trusted – in the name of God. I didn’t realize this was the case until I was taught by God and “saw” the difference. It’s a HUGE difference, creating a HUGE chasm between living an image and true life in Christ. Mark 7:6-7

Spirit teaches spirit. It’s through revelation of the Holy Spirit that we gain truth and learn who God is so we can trust Him. When Peter said Jesus was the Christ, Jesus told him that he didn’t learn this from a person but the Holy Spirit. It was by this method of revelation that Christ would build His true Church. Matthew 16:17-18 We truly come to know God by being taught about God from the Holy Spirit. It’s not by flesh and blood that we learn. That is why it’s impossible to explain spiritual truths to someone without the spirit. They’ll never get it. But when you talk to someone who has also been taught by God they get it.

We learn about God from God because it fosters intimacy and love as God desires; just as you learn most about your spouse from your spouse. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, is given to us to teach us all things, especially about Him. We only know God when we seek Him one-on-one being grounded in the Bible and taught by the Holy Spirit. Those bound by this “image” have never diligently sought God trusting the Holy Spirit to reveal and teach them the truth of God and His ways. Instead they’ve relied on a person to show them.

So, what does this Christian image entail … well a lot of things, like going to church, tithing to the church, not saying certain things because you shouldn’t, being under the “authority” of your church leaders, living a certain “lifestyle” in accordance to the church, speaking the church lingo, helping out at the church, helping the church system to prosper, and leading others to come to church. When you really look at this… it is all about the church, not God.

Finally, as I mentioned in a previous post, one of the defining elements of this image is that there is no real need to seek God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength because you’ve already arrived. Sure, you can always learn more, but no big deal, leave that up to the pastors to learn then regurgitate back to you. Luke 16:14-15 (This belief often isn’t said blatantly, but it’s said clearly.) Yet, this seeking is the one thing that leads you to truly trust, surrender and move into the abundant life Christ came to give.

This “image” is one of the most deceptive works out there because once you think you’ve found you stop seeking. People come to a church say “the sinner’s prayer” and are “encouraged” by others to get involved in all kings of activities. When people are busy doing these “wonderful” acts and receiving praise for them, they feel good about themselves and think something has changed, when it has all been self induced.

Now this message may seem “tough” to some of you. But this image is spoken of throughout the Bible. Psalm 50:21, Revelation 13, Matthew 23:27, Isaiah 29:13 People are living one way claiming they are of God, but in their hearts they are still lord. Their trust is in what they think is best and that is being a good Christian. They don’t diligently seek God’s will daily to follow His voice, not some person’s. Here is the catch; you won’t see this masquerade in your own life because you are in deception until you seek God and the light of truth floods your soul. So you may think this isn’t you as I did; but if you truly seek and you will find. So bottom line regardless, is seek God in truth trusting the Holy Spirit to teach you all things. God wants us to be real with Him and in a real relationship. He has so much to give us if we will draw near in TRUTH and SPIRIT.

So what does a true Christian look like?

There is no image. And eventually you lose all labels, and you are who you are as a child of God, of which we all are. This realization comes as we seek God and all He is with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and are taught by Him. John 6:45  When we have a single focus to do the will of God, not the will of man in the name of God. Matthew 21:31 Therefore we can look like a lot of things because God’s ways aren’t our ways.


Audio Series – Developing a Relationship with God

Audio Series – Developing a Relationship with God


RachelDiPaolo1On Blog Talk Radio, I’m recording a series of shows all around cultivating a deep relationhsip with God, which I encourage you to check out. The shows are interconnected and build upon one another, but you don’t have to listen to them in order, though I recommend it.

To access them, you can either click on the link to the right and go to Blog Talk Radio or go to Itunes and subscribe to them. In Itunes under podcasts, search for Stirring the Deep and they will come up.

Ones now available are:

Tasting God’s Goodness
Adorned as God’s Bride
Growing in Intimacy with God through the Bible