Isaiah 65:10 And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have SOUGHT me.
We are called to seek God. Seeking means to frequently resort to, seek with care, inquire, to practice, study, follow, seek with application, search for, investigate, and crave. It’s a passionate endeavor in which we are committed to going deeper and deeper into the truths of God and into Him. It’s about Him. It’s about our individual relationship to Him. It’s a voyage into His Word being taught by the Holy Spirit that alters our existence. This quest leads us into His unfathomable presence until we are consumed by Him therefore one with Him. John 17:21-23
The general ill-assumption is that once you are “saved” anything else is “extra”, but this thought leads to a belief that is in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:2 For years, this mentality was mine. Oh, I did the “right” Christian duties so satisfy my “requirements” before God, but I wasn’t seeking God, so I wasn’t doing what God requested. I didn’t seek God as my first love. Deep down, I didn’t understand my need to seek. I learned from the pulpit that what I was doing was sufficient. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
The majority of us lack or have lacked the understanding of the significance of seeking God. First, it isn’t made clear from the pulpit; actually the opposite is reinforced. Second, it’s widely accepted as part of this “extra” mentality. Therefore, many called by God’s name lack earnestness in seeking Him, because they’ve learned it isn’t necessary and not important. Thus the ill-assumption follows that not much comes out of it. When you consider it, this mindset doesn’t make any sense. When you read the entire Word of God being taught by the Spirit, it REALLY doesn’t make sense. Yet, we are too busy to abide in His Word and seek, so we remain blind to how upside down our thinking is. We heap up teachers and think this is seeking God. 2 Timothy 4:3. We faithfully go to church and think this is seeking God. We have been grossly led astray in our beliefs, and many are suffering because of it.
This mindset that seeking God is “extra” contradicts what a true reconciliation and union with God entails. True unity with God is seeking Him with all our heart, soul and mind. It’s putting Him first and nourishing a relationship with Him where He becomes our first love. Whether we seek Him or not affects the destiny and state of our souls.
In Isaiah 65, it addresses those called by God’s name (you and me) and the ramifications of seeking God or not. The consequences to seeking Him in truth are throughout the Bible, especially blatant in the Old Testament among the prophets who spoke of our days.
For those who DON’T SEEK God’s face, what is in store: (These are people who will draw near with their mouths and go through the actions of what they should do, but don’t truly seek God’s face)
For those who DO SEEK God’s Face:
Sing for joy of heart
God tells us to seek Him. He tells us what will happen if we don’t. He calls us to seek to Know Him as He is. No one can seek for us. It’s an intimate act between each person and God. God designed it that way. It’s not about more teachers or more programs; it’s about coming to God one-on-one abiding in His pure Word with the Spirit as our teacher. It’s about pouring out our heart before God, allowing Him into the depths of our soul, and Him pouring His life into us. It’s allowing the Word to penetrate every area of our soul and life. It’s daily coming face to face with God Almighty. Isaiah 29:13
We are called to seek God with all our heart, soul and mind. It’s a one-on-one interaction; our heart after His seeking Him and abiding in His Word, the entire Word that reveals His heart to us. It’s talking, asking, digging, and listening. It’s about a real, deep, honest and growing relationship, the most important one we have.
Seeking isn’t “extra” – it’s life. Our souls depend on it. Take time to seek and you’ll see.
Amos 5:4 For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: “Seek Me and live.”
Psalm 14:2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
Here is one more dream instructing me during these wilderness tests . . . I’ve written a lot about dreams lately as God has been using them to show me my heart among other truths I need to know. Where the other two dreams (Preparing for God’s Calling, Wilderness Tests – God’s Care) I shared revealed doubts and fears deep in my heart, this one was a bit different . . .
In my dream, my eyesight started to get blurry. No matter what I did my eyes wouldn’t clear up. My vision became so blurred that people and objects were shapeless blobs. Needless to say it made me anxious. At one point, I was holding my cousin’s new baby and almost dropped him as I stumbled over a chair. Fortunately my aunt was there to brace me. After bumbling around for awhile here and there, it was time to get dressed for some formal function/party I was attending that night. But my eyesight was so poor; I didn’t know how I was going to get ready (hair, makeup, all that stuff). Then a young blonde-hair woman said she would help me. The sweetness in her demeanor and in her voice gave me a peace in my spirit. I didn’t know her, but it didn’t matter. She was very willing to help me out. As we went back to the dressing room, I looked in the mirror and I saw that my hazel eyes had turned a crystal clear blue. There was still a haze covering them as they were still transforming but I stood amazed. A wave of encouragement came over me as I realized they were blurry because they were going through this change.
As I sought out the meaning of this dream the next day during my quiet time, this is what I felt it meant. It’s a reflection of what is happening in my life – a transformation within my soul as God tests, renews and prepares me. Eyes are the windows to the soul. A change in color from hazel to blue reflected God’s work in me through this time of testing. The blurriness inhibiting me from seeing clearly and moving about represented how I feel about my situation, the unknown and the uncertainty, which I’ve talked about in previous posts.
During this trial, as my trust is tested I feel at times like I’m bumbling around. But it’s this uncertainty that beckons me to trust and rest in God’s Truth because if not now then when? Is He my God or isn’t He? Though circumstances seem undefined or uncertain, there is hope because if I look (as I did in the mirror) I will see God is working in my soul and using the circumstances to mold my heart and spirit for His will and purposes. He is breaking my trust in other things, so that it will be in Him as it should be. As He works, He is filling me with His living waters in areas that need a refreshing.
I thought the blonde girl represented an angel helping me as I went through this time. I felt God say that all that is happening is under His watchful eye and care. He is taking care of my needs. He is with me every step. He is working it all out in the perfect way. That morning after my dream I got a deep sense that everything is happening as it should. I’m in my Maker’s hands and He is molding me according to His desire and will, which ultimately is what will most fulfill me as well. My part is to yield to that molding, trust Him and above all believe in His promises to me.
In this trial, my trust is breaking in other things and I know that is so it will be established more firmly on Him. When it’s in Him then crystal blue living waters can freely flow through my soul and circumstances. This dream was more of a look from God’s perspective, which is the perspective I need to focus on.
Our soul is like a territory held in bondage by an enemy. When we are awakened to the state of our soul, then we realize our need for someone mightier (Jesus Christ) than ourselves and our enemy to deliver us from the entrapment. When we accept that Jesus is the One to deliver us, then He comes and claims the beachfront of our lives. So we are His, however, aspects of our soul are still untouched territory. As we abide in His Word and are willing and listening, bit by bit Jesus makes advances taking over the territory of our soul as King. Under His Kingship, we live free and as we were created to live. I want to explore some ways He makes those advances.
For years I experienced pain in my body in reoccurring areas. It wasn’t unbearable, but at my young age, it was far more than I should be experiencing. I knew something was way off. I tried many external remedies but nothing worked, but each “cure” presented a new hope. A friend told me about what a Cranial Sacral Therapist had done for her, so I found someone in my area. During the session, as she was working on my neck and head, she asked me if I had experienced any trauma in that area as a child. At first I thought no, but then as I laid there several experiences came to mind, but they weren’t of a physical nature but an emotional one. That thought process led me to see a deep trauma in my beliefs – that I lacked a sense of value for myself. Until that point, I never fully realized this debilitating belief. I went home knowing I had stumbled upon something significant. I realized I needed to stop looking outward for solutions and look inward.
As I brought this issue into my quiet time with God, He started unraveling it bit by bit. It ended up being a core issue that underscored many other issues (almost all of them, including my pain). I started to see the massive ripple affect of that ill-belief spreading to every area of my life. Eagerly, I prayed and listened to God’s instruction, and He started laying it all out. He showed me how most of my thoughts, actions, and decisions were tied to a lack of value for myself. He showed me where this idea started and was reinforced in childhood. As He took me back to painful memories, ones I feared to face or simply didn’t want to out of pride, I travelled with Him trusting His guidance and He covered them with His love, truth and forgiveness. As pain appeared in other areas in my body, I listened and He led me to other issues all related to my core one. He opened up each area of anger, pain, and fear, and brought in His truth. When He was done, I held an unchanging priceless value in myself as His child. However, many of my habitual ways of responding and acting were still reflective of that girl who had no value. Through awareness, abiding in His Word and prayer, those actions started to fade and were replaced by ones based on who I truly am as His unique creation and this transition is in progress today.
I share this story, because 1) it demonstrates a type of progression in how the territory of our soul is conquered by God, and 2) many people have this core issue of a lack of value (from childhood rejection, abuse, neglect, modeling of parents, and so on). Some know it and many deny it, but I see it in many people. When we lack value we spend our lives trying to prove and earn our worthiness and most of what we do is a result of this lack of value, therefore, we aren’t able to be completely surrendered to God’s will. We are more driven to prove or earn our worthiness. God calls us to be surrendered completely to Him and that surrender is a journey. For many facing core issues is a significant part of that journey. But we have to stop the madness of trying to prove and earn and abide in God’s presence and seek His deliverance. God wants us out of that bondage and will allow or do what it takes in our lives to bring us to this understanding, to healing and freedom.
The Progression of Conquering Our Soul
First, an uncomfortable situation arises in our life to get us seeking, like a physical aliment (as I had), intense trial, or difficult relationship. We live in blindness to our own soul and something has to wake us up. When all is fine, we don’t seek. But when things aren’t, it’s to push us to search from the depth of our soul. Often what starts us seeking is something that gets our full attention, and it is different for different people. How better to get our attention than with something we really care about?
Second, from seeking we get a word of truth about the state of our soul that comes to us through a dream, person, the Spirit, or God’s Word. When that word or insight resonates strongly with us, like the issue of value did for me, this is our first awareness of seeing Christ on the edge of this section of our soul ready to take it over and deliver us.
Third, through spiritual weaponry (like faith, prayer, meditating on His Word, the Bible, and /or fasting) the anchor of that stronghold is uprooted. For me the stronghold was the lie I had no value, God uprooted that ill-belief and replaced it with the truth that I have infinite unchanging value. One point on fasting, it is a tool that when God calls us to use it (He decision not ours), it can be extremely powerful. It’s an act of faith that we are completely reliant on His Word for life. Matthew 17:19-21
Fourth, once the anchor is uprooted then there is a time (usually much longer) of restructuring and rebuilding, like when a land is taken over by a new regime it has to be established on their rules. As the rebuilding occurs in this certain area, many issues may spring up that are related to that area like anger, modeling (what we learned from our parents), and unforgiveness. Each one of these has to be addressed and replaced with truth and love. This work of rebuilding is God’s. Our part is to seek His deliverance, listen to and obey His instruction, abide in His Word that cuts through our soul healing and restoring, pray, and hold onto His truth as it’s established in us.
After believing lies for so long it sometimes takes awhile for the truth to truly be ours. Because of the strong connections in our brain established from acting certain ways for so long, it sometimes takes awhile for us to act according to the deliverance that is happening in our soul. But once the anchor is uprooted, then we should see progress forward however slow. Building a new way of behaving requires great patience, trust and perseverance. It requires that we trust God who begun a good work in us will complete it (Philippians 1:6). As this area is rebuilt, God moves onto the next one to conquer. If we are diligent to heed His instruction, follow and trust in Him to do what He promises to do, we will experience true freedom in our soul. The good news is that once our core issue is addressed it resolves many other issues that came from it. Though, it may be a longer process initially, it is delivering us from many problems in our lives.
If you are struggling right now, perhaps it is the Spirit trying to get your attention. Ask and seek why you are going through what you are. Be aware of insights you have about your situation. Pray about them don’t ignore or push them to the side. Dive into them. They may be God on the forefront ready to move and waiting for you to call Him in. Deliverance requires your involvement. Let His pure Word penetrate your heart, pray, meditate on His truth daily and follow His direction and He will take over and rebuild you into the new creation you are in Him.
In my experience this process can be painful at times as our depths are unraveled and exposed and it isn’t instant by any means. It is a journey, sometimes taking years, but He is faithful to finish what He began. What are a couple of years compared to a lifetime of freedom? Most of us give up. Stop trusting. Stop seeking deliverance. Stop listening. Stop abiding in His Word. Don’t give up. Believe God is good and desires you to be free. And remember it is God who starts, directs, and completes this journey. It is by the Spirit’s lead not our own initiative.
Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
I feel we have entered into another degree of spiritual warfare; perhaps because the time of judgment is near or upon us??
In the past month, I’ve been seeing the warfare in my life, the lives around me, in the blogs I read. We are facing struggles and tribulation on a spiritual level that is affecting our daily lives. (the physical and the spiritual are connected – one affects the other.) We feel overwhelmed, burdened, discouraged, or depressed. When we are attacked at our core in our spirits then it makes dealing with the day to day stuff much more difficult. Proverbs 18:14 It makes small things seem big. It throws things out of perspective into the wrong perspective. Our trust in God wanes. Our steadfast belief that He is in control and will provide and protect us diminishes. His love feels distant. We begin to turn to the world’s wisdom instead of His. We can become fearful, timid, aggressive, or ineffective.
Then in my quiet time the other day I read Nehemiah 4:17 “Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon.” It struck me that what this verse is saying is what I had been feeling and what we need to do. We are being attacked to such a degree that we need to be ready for battle daily. Each day, we can no longer just focus on building the temple but we have to fight the spiritual battle as well. If we don’t recognize the attacks and fight the enemy we won’t be able to build. There has always been spiritual warfare, but lately it seems it has intensified.
As for building the temple, it’s not a physical temple we are building. It is a spiritual one and we, our spirits together, are the temple, the temple of God. We hold the spirit of God. The part of us that is a part of Him holds His spirit. Each one of our spirits is like a pillar. If our spirits are mal-nourished and lacking in truth, then they become like rotting broken down pillars.
We build by stirring the deep (spending one-on-one time building intimacy with God through His Word) each day. This is our work. John 6:29 Our work is to believe – to live in God’s wisdom and truth. Because our beliefs are the core to every thought and action. When our spirits are thriving and strong, then God’s spirit is strong within us and works through us in mighty ways in our lives and the lives of others. When we succumb to the attacks because we don’t recognize them for what they are, we become weak and neglect to be steadfast in our beliefs, which negatively impacts everything.
I believe that the time is upon us, where we need to build the temple with one hand and hold a weapon in the other.
The fantastic news is and what I am experiencing in my life is the mighty power that Jesus Christ gave us in the spiritual realm to defeat any and every enemy. Luke 10:19 However, we have to be aware of that power, use it through faith and prayer, and use it right when we need it, not wait.
Lately, as I have experienced more attacks, I’ve been prepared with the knowledge of the power that I have in Christ. When they come, I call upon God the enemy backs off. It is tremendous!
Who is the enemy? Most often ourselves, our flesh nature. We have an external evil warring against our spirits but even that enemy usually uses our weaknesses, our lack of knowledge of truth, our issues, our temptations, our desires, and our self-will to discourage and lead us astray.
These are challenging days, but God has laid out the tools before us to be more than conquerors in all that we face. It is our part to learn what tools are there and to pick them up and fight so we can continue to build.