Living Light

Stirring The Deep


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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


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Listening to the Spirit

Listening to the Spirit

 

To stop and listen to the rhythms of life beneath all the noise is a lost art in our modern world. The voice of our inner spirit is suppressed by busyness, television, books, magazines, cell phones, pagers, email, competition, idle chatter and all we do to make ourselves feel worthy. Underneath the distractions is our spirit trying to be heard. The ramifications of silencing our guide is broken homes, dysfunctional children, physical aliments, depression, monotonous living, robotic spirituality, addictions, and spiritual blindness to name a few.

This truth has recently come to my attention. I am dealing with the consequences of not listening through various physical aliments. They are minor but it is clear to me the source is years of suppressing my spirit’s voice. I didn’t take time to listen but bulldozed through the years trusting medications and doctors instead of seeking inner counsel. Doctors can’t know the complexity of your emotions, your past experiences and everything that create your current physical state. Our body and soul are connected but yet we often act like they aren’t. God gave us a guide to build truth in the deepest part of our soul if we will listen. Truth that sets us free.

Lately I have been opening my ears and what He is telling me is incredible, I had no idea.

If we could go on the counsel and guidance of others then why would we need the Holy Spirit who was sent to teach us all things? We need to be listening to Him above all others and yet we have forgotten how to listen. Instead of listening to our spirit as our counselor we listen to others. We no longer make our own decisions, take time for inward reflection, and think for ourselves but rely on others to do these for us. Those in our circle of influence; media, family, co-workers, church leaders; tell us what to believe, to think, to trust, to do. These people are ill-equipped to guide anyone because they are just like us.

Matthew 23:8 “But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren.”

When we tune into our spirit we tune into Him as well. Our impatience is driving us into the arms of some “Joe’s” philosophies. I don’t care how many initials are after his name or how nice he appears; he isn’t equipped to guide us as the Spirit is. It is the Spirit’s role and no one can fulfill it but Him. God constructed this world, the physical and spiritual elements, to work a certain way. Either we get clued in and do it His way or we miss out altogether and stay bound, blind, and dumb (in hearing and insight).

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

God uses other people to encourage and help us. But our ears need to be in tune with the Spirit so we can discern what we hear, if it is truth or not and if it applies to us or not. If not, any good is mixed in with the bad and we are still seeing foggy. People are human, they make mistakes and they are learning just like we are. Like a doctor misdiagnosing a patient, others can give us the wrong diagnosis and remedy. We need a stronghold to test what we hear against whether it pertains to doctrine, health, work, relationships or whatever. That stronghold is the Spirit. I have gained more truth from listening to the Spirit than I ever have listening to man. Others add a little here and there crossing a t or dotting an i, but He opens up volumes of truth.

With modernization came isolation from our inner voice. We need to reorient our lives to create an atmosphere so we can hear. We need to be still, abide, and listen to what the Spirit is saying to each one of us. It is a conversation between you and Him, are you listening?