Living Light

Stirring The Deep


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Streams in YOUR Deserts

Streams in YOUR Deserts

Isaiah 35:6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert

God has been teaching me this “streams in the desert” level of trust He desires of His children. A level of trust in which His people KNOW He is able to make streams in their deserts so that they act on that faith. If you truly believe in this power of God in your life, how different would your responses be to life’s impossible circumstances?

Do you believe God can make streams in Your deserts? Honestly? What do your actions show? This level of trust is what God desires of us because this is who He is to those who trust in Him to be their God.

 2 Timothy 3:5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

When the circumstances of life exceed our illusionary control, do we believe God can make something new within those situations or do we run? Quitting jobs, leaving vocations, getting divorces, running from responsibilities, sedating emotional pain, withdrawing from life, and retreating from ourselves; when we come against a roadblock and we see there is no more strength or resources to continue forward, what do we do? Do we run? Does God run?

Many of us tend to run. I know I have in the past. Either, physically in abandoning a situation or relationship, or emotionally in withdrawal, or as our pride likes to frame it moving on, which sounds so much better, doesn’t it? Within our human means running away can seem like the only viable option. And it’s true when we rely on our strength. But what about God’s? Who does He say He is to us? Deut 3:22, Isaiah 45:2, 52:12, 58:8 God doesn’t run. Time and time again, He shows how He makes streams in the deserts. The Bible testifies to this power, and our lives testify to it if we are willing to stop running and walk His paths. I’ve seen it, have you?

God’s love always endures, always hopes, and never fails. He is the Creator and can do anything, and if He is OUR God then His power and strength abound to us IF we abide and trust Him. John 15:7, Eph 3:20

The turning point in our lives that enables us to experience the power of God is TRUSTING Him in TRUTH and SPIRIT, which comes from being a new creation in Him.  It seems, we trust more in a psychologist or doctor to help us than God. We trust in self-help and the wisdom of this world to work through our “issues” more than the creative hand of our God who says He makes all things new for those who are in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Are you exchanging trust in someone else, for trust in God? God does use the elements of this world for our good, but where is your trust? Big difference. God’s creative power isn’t a theoretical concept, it’s God in your midst.

If God is so powerful, why don’t we see more deliverance by His mighty hand in the lives around us? Lack of trust, real trust based on becoming a new creation fashioned by God. Trust is the fruit of abiding in the Word of God and being taught by the Holy Spirit, which transforms our souls into partakers of the divine. Romans 10:17

We can’t do what we don’t know. Without individually abiding in the Truth and letting the Spirit of Truth write the Truth on our minds and hearts, fear binds us to a carnal reliance on a physical world that is only a shadow. Fear sets in, takes over and we start running or fight in our strength, which is just as bad. Meanwhile, the power of God is dampened by the lack of belief.  Matthew 13:58 Fear keeps us from trusting and waiting on God’s deliverance His way.

God offers a much better way. He goes before us to fight our enemies, He delivers us, and He makes our paths smooth, IF we TRUST Him in truth and spirit. (If we are trusting in a false image of God, it isn’t real trust, but idol worship) As we daily feast on the bread of heaven; abiding in the Bible seeking His face and to be taught by Him, then trust is the fruit. As He regenerates our lives into a new creation, His power starts flowing through us making streams in the deserts, our deserts.

In difficult challenges where there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, no hope … remember God’s ways are not our ways. Isaiah 55:8 There is no limit to His power. This powerful Creator working in our lives is who He is to His children; to those who seek His face. His people don’t act out of fear or hopelessness, but in power, truth and love.

In Hebrews 11, know as the faith chapter, God says He diligently rewards those who seek Him. Heb 11:6 Seek Him and abide in His truth and righteousness and see the Creator at work in your life creating something incredible from what seemed dead and hopeless.

Instead of running, seek the regeneration of God so that by the power of His Spirit in you, you love your husband, love your children, Titus 2:4, respect your bosses and employees. Colossians 3:22, 4:1 You work as to the Lord. Colossians 3:23 You lean not on your own understanding that sees no way out. Proverbs 3:5 You don’t complain, which doesn’t glorify the power of God. Phil 2:14 You don’t harden your hearts by being stubborn in continuing to do it your way or giving up. Heb 3:8 Seek the power of God, who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you ask or think. Eph 3:20

God is looking for those who trust in Him, not in their own strength and resources or of this world’s, but Him. Who do you trust in really? God has tremendous things in store for those who do. Psalm 31:19

 1 Corinthians 13:7 love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.


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Abiding in the ENTIRE Word of God

Abiding in the ENTIRE Word of God

Today I’m celebrating 13 years of marriage to a wonderful man. Our marriage is better today than it ever has been and it’s ALL attributed to what I spoke of last week, seeking God. I know most don’t believe that’s the answer to their heart’s desires, needs, problems, concerns – but it is. When God’s truth and love fills our lives, it changes everything. Let me tell you a secret, Matthew 6:33 REALLY is true. Few believe the truth of this verse, because few truly seek God first. It’s a great loss for it affects everything in our lives. I’ve walked life on both sides, seeking and not, there is no comparison to the difference. I had no idea. But you don’t until you seek. You don’t know what you don’t know.

Last week I talked about the importance of seeking God, and how it’s foundational to our lives. This post expands on that topic in talking about an essential aspect to seeking, reading the ENTIRE Word of God being TAUGHT by the SPIRIT.

When we read the Bible it’s CRITICAL to read the ENTIRE Word; to give attention to all books. The more I talk to others, the more I’m learning that very few truly abide in the entire Word of God. Let me tell you it makes ALL the difference. The Bible fits together like a huge puzzle. Each verse, chapter, book is connected to the rest to create a fullness of truth as God desires us to know it. When we neglect certain parts, we are getting partial truth, and that leads to all kinds of problems.

If we leave out certain books, skim over others, read a verse hear and there, we aren’t allowing the Spirit the opportunity to teach us all we need to know. Especially in these days, we need to be abiding in the entire word of God trusting the Spirit to teach us for it’s the truth that will save us. 2 Thessalonians 2:10

For example on a serious note, much of what happens in the end days is spoken of by the prophets (Jeremiah, Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, and the Minor Prophets Hosea through Malachi). Their words in line with the rest of the Bible create a picture of what will happen in the end. To understand the fullness of truth as God desires us to know for the times we are living in, we need to read the entire Word. When we abide, meditate, seek and look to the Holy Spirit to teach us, we are allowing ourselves access to some very important truths. The truth protects and guides us. Otherwise we will have partial truth and partial understanding, which leaves an open door to deception. So it’s not just reading the Bible, but the ENTIRE Bible with the instruction and guidance of the Holy Spirit that matters.

Here are some Tips for Reading the Word that are vital for diving deep into the Truth.

  1. Read the ENTIRE Word. I suggest one chapter from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament with a Psalm or Proverb each day.
  2. Give ATTENTION to all the books.
  3. Trust the Holy Spirit to TEACH you ALL things. 1 John 2:27, John 14:26. Your foundation of truth needs to be built by God, not man. A foundation built upon man’s words, opinions and interpretations of the Bible is shaky ground. In addition, the Spirit teaches in a way that man doesn’t so that the truth is written on our hearts and minds, changing us.
  4. Read not as a task to check off your list, but put your heart and soul into it. Meditate, abide, contemplate, and ask God for understanding. Read the Word with the ATTITUDE that you are communing with God, learning from Him. Draw near to Him through His Word as you would someone you love with a devotion, passion, desire to know Him as He is.
  5. RIGHTLY DIVIDE the Word 2 Timothy 2:15. Be observant for how the Spirit connects verses together bringing certain ones to mind as you read others.
  6. Read a VERSION close to the original Greek and Hebrew. Use the Strong’s concordance.
  7. Abide in the PURE Word – just you and God – trusting the Spirit to teach you what you need to know when you need to know it. There is a time for others’ words, but have the mindset that God is your primary teacher and that His instruction is foundational and all others secondary.
  8. PRAY for a passion for the truth. Abide, meditate, and listen.
  9. Read with the MOTIVE to seek God. Get to know Him as He is, to get to know His ways and truth – not to “fix” you or  for a lesson to teach the Sunday school class. Ask God what does HE want to teach you today – and open up your mind and heart to anything He might want to show you. Your needs will be resolved as you seek Him FIRST.
  10. Read DAILY the REST of your life. No engagement is richer, deeper, more powerful and true. The Word is dynamic, powerful. Truth builds upon truth so there is no end to learning.

God has given us all we need to have His power move through our lives – His Word and His Spirit. The two work hand in hand. One without the other doesn’t work, but together they are a mighty force in our lives. When you seek God in this way, you move into true life – one of truth, protection, beauty, joy, peace, comfort and hope – one that is abundant.

Please don’t waste any more time on all the things that don’t matter and won’t make a difference, and do the one thing that will, seek God.


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Space Suit: In God’s Presence

Space Suit: In God’s Presence

 

Have you ever had the feeling of being consumed by the presence of God? A while ago I got a strange but clarifying image that it is like being in a space suit. In a suit your life is preserved, protected, you see the world a little differently, and it goes wherever you do. Wearing it changes how you interact with your environment. If provides oxygen, the breath of life. If you take it off you lose life.

Before this unusual analogy, God’s presence seemed ethereal and hard to touch. But this image helped me to grasp how real it is and it established the solidarity of His presence in my life. It seemed a strange image but it worked. It helped me to see what it means to dwell in God’s presence, and what it means for our lives. In His presence we have protection, provision, love, mercy, grace, counsel, comfort, truth, favor, and life, everything we need. All He is surrounds us and fills us. When God consumes us, our role becomes one of rest. He does the work through us and our focus shifts from doing to being. We don’t push through life, but let God flow and work through us.

These verses give a peek into what it is like to dwell in His presence, in this space suit:

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Psalm 37:3-5 Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Abiding in His presence is beyond amazing, wouldn’t you agree? Who wouldn’t want this life?

How do we put on this space suit and keep it on? By staying connected to the source. We stay connected by trusting and acting on our knowledge of Him, which is faith.

It all starts with what we know. We bring all that we are to our relationships. Now, a friend may not know a certain side of us, but that is just a lack of knowledge. It is the same with God. He is always there, but our experience of the various aspects of Him comes from knowing Him. This is why abiding in His Word is the foundation of experiencing His presence.

If we don’t know God, His promises and His ways then how do we know what to trust in? Without knowledge we end up trusting in our own image of Him, a false image, that is powerless, or we trust in ourselves that is just as helpless.

Abiding in the truth not only gives us knowledge but cultivates trust in that knowledge. Trust, acting on our knowledge, is how we dwell in the space suit.

How many times do we read in the Word, trust and such and such will happen? Trust manifests His presence in our lives. It makes what we learn about Him a reality. Without trust the knowledge we have would be lifeless.

We come to know and trust God like other relationships. We spend time talking, listening, learning, asking, seeking and experiencing and in the process we know and trust, trust and know. God made this dynamic to be a process that requires time and experiences that give us a deep understanding of Him, therefore His truth always coincides with mercy for His kids.

As we approach the next phase of manifesting His presence in our lives, increasing trust, it is critical to embrace this truth – ALL His paths are truth and mercy. Psalm 25:10 We are on the path of knowing and trusting we aren’t there yet. Our experience of Him isn’t dependent only on our trust, but also on His mercy. We know that we should trust, but we don’t. But as long as we are seeking Him, His mercy is more than enough to cover our lack.

Finally, to increase our trust, God brings events into our lives to test and strengthen it. God knows trusting Him is a struggle that is why He places challenges before us, to push us into deeper union with Him, otherwise we would remain at the surface of His presence instead of consumed by every part of it. If we remain as we are we miss out on experiencing all He has to give us. The purpose of these struggles is to become united to Him. 1 Peter 1:6-7

Consequently, these are the situations in which it is hardest to trust. We are experiencing the sovereign hand of God heavy upon us. Not against us though that is how it may feel, but to draw us near. Like Jacob did to become Israel, we wrestle with God through these times to become who we were created to be. These times push us into Him. We cry out to Him from the depth of our soul, ask Him to help with our unbelief and through the process we draw near to Him, our ultimate purpose. John 17:21 He expects us to doubt, struggle, and question through these times. But He wants us to keep Him by our side throughout the process. We are the caterpillar struggling to become a butterfly.

These trials are difficult to the point of breaking us, but their intensity is essential to obtain the trust we need to experience more of Him. We have to set our expectations aside of how we think things should be going, focus on abiding in His truth and trust Him that He is working everything for the purpose of being united to Him. He will give us exactly what we need to get us into a conscious awareness of that space suit, because that gives Him glory.

The secret to abiding in His presence, in the space suit, is knowing Him, so we can trust Him, then working through those tests of trust and when we do we will move deeper into His presence, the fountain of life.