Living Light

Stirring The Deep


4 Comments

Where Do You Worship?

 Where Do You Worship?

As you think about the New Year, setting goals and making resolutions, consider the one act that will affect you and your year more significantly and powerfully than anything else, where you worship.

What’s the temple(s) of your life? What do you give your resources to, energy and time, to cultivate in your life? How do you make your decisions and choices? What do you sacrifice other things and people for, including your sacred time with God each morning? What are your priorities that come above all else? Mark 12:30-31 What/who do you put above God and abiding in His truth? Matthew 6:33 What doctrines and philosophies are you truly serving and worshipping with your thoughts and actions? Write out the answers to these questions and be honest, it will reveal what you truly serve.  True change follows honesty.

Below is just a sampling of the temples we build, sacrifice for and thus worship at … when these are our temples, there is one outcome …

Career achievements

Job Security

Intellectualism

Health

Beauty

Money

Family

Relationships with other gender

Self-empowerment

Control

Victim/Helplessness

Religion/church

Self-righteousness/being right & fair

Pride

Consumed in the darkness of the lies of this world, we build, sacrifice, serve and thus worship at a myriad of temples, like those above, trying to create the rest, fulfillment of hope, purpose, peace and love we desperately long for. Yet, God in His love for us has shown us how to obtain what we truly long for exceeding our expectations. For the life we seek, God instructs us to forsake and destroy all other temples in our lives, and take part in building His temple. Mark 14:58 It’s the temple of truth in our souls in which God’s spirit dwells. Eph 2:19-22 It’s the kingdom of God within us. When this is our temple, then all else in our lives follows as it should and as we deeply desire.

The temple(s) of your choosing will lead to one of two outcomes because there are only two paths in this earth pilgrimage; one of truth and one not, one of life and one not, one of God and one not. If you choose temples like the ones listed above the outcome is of increasing angst, hardship, worry, fear and stress. If you choose to build God’s temple within you, the outcome is growing peace, rest, joy and love.

What are you experiencing, which outcome? The outcome reflects the temple(s) you are currently worshiping at. If it’s the results of angst and fear, are you going to continue to build and worship at the same temples and get the same results?

Not only does only one temple bring the life you truly seek, but there is only one which will stand as all the rest are cast down.

1 Corinthians 3:13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is

In the Day of the Lord, all temples, the work of our hands, will crumble except the One. As the Day of the Lord dawns, now is the time to examine and realign your life to build the everlasting temple, the kingdom of God within you. If the presence of the living God is within you, you need nothing else for His presence manifests every need and desire as it should be.

As you decide your path for this year, meditate on these verses

Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.

Psalm 34:10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

John 6:28-29 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”


13 Comments

Seeking God Regardless of Your Feelings

Seeking God Regardless of Your Feelings

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.

Feelings can be VERY misleading. Our feelings are based on what we believe and know at the moment. One area they can be incredibly misleading is in regards to our connection with God; especially for those who haven’t diligently sought God in truth and spirit. Feelings like God doesn’t care, He is distant, seeking Him doesn’t matter, and reading the Bible doesn’t matter. We have to fight and disregard these type of feelings when it comes to seeking God, which can be difficult.  However, for those who fight through those emotions and continue to seek, they find a relationship with God far beyond their expectations, thus a life beyond their imaginations for He is life.

As in the verse above, those who do God’s commandments from their core are those who have pushed through contrary emotions and have discovered a deeper wisdom and knowledge. They’ve learned that the paths to abundant eternal life are walking in God’s ways and not their own. They’ve learned that all else is lies and deception that lead you further from what you desire instead of closer. Thus, they willing and desire to walk in God’s ways and truth and are driven to keep pushing deeper into Him.

We start out in this life following our own will, which is formulated by the world’s (culture, society, traditions, etc) concepts. From birth, we’re consumed by this world and its philosophies therefore that is what we own as truth and live by. But as we seek God in spirit and truth, we gain an altogether different understanding. We see not only the truth of God, but also the truth of our own lives and what we are truly manifesting by following our will. We start to see that when we are in “control” we manifest depravity and not the life we desire. We begin to see when God is in control of us He brings about every perfect gift and blessing.

It’s hard for people to seek God, to truly devote to seeking Him as He calls us to. We’ve been misled to believe that His paths aren’t really full of life, but hardship, depravity and loss when in reality it’s our ways that bring these afflictions. It’s all backwards. Further, we look at others who are supposedly following God and judge God and a life with Him by their lives, a HUGE mistake most of the time. Many people aren’t truly seeking and walking in God’s truth. They are following a man-made religion, not God. They don’t truly seek and therefore in lack of truth and knowing cling to their self-will of depravity.

Only when the God is truly YOUR God, meaning He is in charge and you are at rest, do you journey His paths of truth leading to abundant life, in the deepest and fullest sense. When you do, the life you live far exceeds your expectations. Eph 3:20

While most never traverse this path, because the lies they hold about God that keep them at bay, some do. Matt 22:14 For those who come to the point to dare to seek God as they feel a stirring that there is much more, they seek and continue to seek despite what they initially feel. They seek in spite of the fear of losing their lives, of losing control, and what their lives might become once they step into God’s domain. They seek regardless of not wanting to at times because they are buried in lies that a life with God is anything less than magnificent.

Those who actually do His commands, (not the religious commands governed by mere humans Matthew 15:8-9), are those who have sought and understand the Truth of God. They understand that God’s way is the only desirous way, yes desirous. And it’s actually not their own will, but God’s light and truth pouring through them as they’ve become united to God’s will by laying down their own.

I’ve traversed this journey, I fought against what I felt many times and continued to seek God. I have the before and after pictures of my life and the afters blow my mind. I know His ways are better, my life is a testimony to me.

This newness of life fuels my passion to encourage you to seek and persist in seeking. God’s gifts are like a consuming ocean, more than we could ever want. The more others have of this true life blesses my spirit all the more. There is nothing more important than seeking first God’s kingdom and His righteousness. Matthew 6:33

Seek and persist regardless of what or how you feel. It’s the path of life that’s met with much resistance in this world. Realize this conflict as you embark upon this journey. Don’t trust your feelings. Trust if you seek you will find. Meditate on God’s truth and promises. You have nothing to lose; and everything to gain. For those who persist in seeking God in His truth, there awaits in this life, unspeakable joy, purpose and blessing.

Matthew 7:13-14, 2 Peter 3:16-18

The Path Found by Few

Shrouded in a cloak of lies
Hoping in what only binds

Trusting in what won’t deliver
The deepest desires cast to a sliver

An existence governed by strife
Hoping, yet never bringing true life

It’s a faulty assumption of hope
That self-will brings what you grope

There’s a way out
Clouded by doubt

That looks like depravity
Yet holds true vitality

To walk God’s paths leaving your own
Is the only way to be full grown

To be the budding vine
Is to be enraptured with His wine

To drink from the heavenly fountain
To rise to His Holy mountain

It’s narrow and disguised
This path out of the lies

But for those who dare to walk
Enter into His sacred flock

The home of all they hold dear
A place without pain, angst or fear

Flowing streams of life abound
Watering the soul to be unbound

Now covered now garments of light
Transformed and entering endless heights

~ Rachel DiPaolo
September 7, 2011


6 Comments

Made in God’s Image

Made in God’s Image

What God as been teaching me lately …

We are made in God’s image. Genesis 1:26 One of the main aspects of this likeness is we create with our thoughts. It isn’t if we do or don’t, we do. Our thoughts create. What is the main difference between two people, the difference that really matters in their lives? Their thoughts based on their belief systems.

The ramifications of our thoughts are either good or evil. They either work for our and others’ benefit or destruction. Apart from God, we can’t know what is truly good in every situation for all people because we can’t see the end of the ripple effects we create. We might judge something as good that really isn’t. This lack of judgment between good and evil is a problem when you are by nature a creative entity. Adam and Eve showed us that. Further, even if we know what is good, in our own power we aren’t able to do good in every situation.

We aren’t meant to do make our own judgments or rely on our own power to perform. Yet, that is what many strive to do. God created a much better way.

To live in goodness and what is helpful, pure, truth and love for us and others, we need to give up our self-directed creative power in every area of our lives and let God’s creative power flow through us so that we are living out His will. Only God is good. Only God knows the end result of any one act. Only He is powerful and pure enough to do good every time for all people. Therefore, to live truly in all that is good and loving for all, we have to give up our self-directing creative power and gain God’s. This is the surrender He calls us to. Matthew 16:25 This surrender leads to eternal life because only what is of God lives forever.

How is this surrender manifested?

We begin by grasping two key areas of knowledge, which we do by seeking God and His truth. First is the deep understanding of the destructive nature of our self-directed creative power, and its consuming nature in every area of our lives. To understand we can’t judge on our own, and we need to operate by God’s will. When we gain this awareness, our response is to want to completely rid ourselves of our self-directing ways as we see them for what they are – paths to death. This response is a desire to “die to self”.

The second area of knowledge is to learn about God and His truth; His perfection, the power of life His truth holds, the purity of His love, and that only His ways are good. Only when we know and trust God, can we truly let go of this self-directing will. We trust what we know. In understanding these two areas and personally witnessing their truth in our lives, we will want nothing but His will. We long to be utterly consumed by His perfection and nothing of our own making apart from Him. John 15:5

In seeing our self-directed creative power for what it is and God for who He is, we are jolted to give up our destructive self-will and embrace His on every level. Only by choosing to give up our self-directed power, we are able to be filled with His. It’s one or the other.

Next, by “dying to self” and seeking the truth and ways of God with all our heart, soul and mind, God writes His truth on our hearts. By doing so, He renews us, regenerates us and makes us into new creations as He alters our very core with His love and truth. Through this process, which incorporates our circumstances, His Word, and God’s instruction, we become new creations as our deepest thoughts and belief systems are transformed. Galatians 2:20 All the old things pass away and are replaced with a mind and spirit crafted in His truth. 2 Corinthians 5:17 With a new mind, what we now create is in line with God’s will because our thoughts are governed by His thoughts.

This path of regeneration is the journey of every true believer; one in which we are made into sons and daughters of God and brothers and sisters of Christ. John 1:12

Patience is required through this process as all we are is peeled back, exposed, and renewed. Every area of our lives has been under our self-directing power. Therefore, it takes time as God’s truth penetrates our souls and purges the layers self-directing power and instills His creative spirit in their place. 1 Peter 5:10

If we chose to hold onto our self-directed creative power the end is death. Ultimately what isn’t of God dies for God is life, the life force by which all things exist. Separation from Him is death. As the perfect Father who loves His children, God is sustaining us in His mercy as we are renewed.

One note, as the Great Tribulation is upon us, this sustaining hand of God will begin to withdraw and people will be given over to what they have chosen. In following self-directed ways, those ways will consume them as an addiction. We are ensnared by the work of our own hands. It’s we who bring judgment upon ourselves as we live out what we have chosen. Again anything not of God leads to death. However, for those seeking the regeneration of their spirits by God, in these days they will continue to be transformed from glory to glory.

If you choose the latter by seeking God and letting Him create you, you will become who you’ve desired to be. This path is one of entering into God’s rest because it’s He who works in you, as you let go, seek and abide. The regeneration is His work. He tells you what He will do, does it, and you glorify Him. You let go of control and God takes over. Yes, God is that good.

Living by the creative power of God is the kingdom of God. It’s God’s Spirit filling every aspect of your unique being making you who you were created to be as His perfect creation. You are transformed by His power into the fullness of who He created you to be as a beautiful vessel powered by God. This is eternal life. This is God in us and us in Him. This is the kingdom of God. This is what Jesus came to preach and continues to as the Word of God. This is how you will do more than you ever imaged; because you are greater than you ever imagined. John 14:12-13, 14, 20, Ephesians 3:20, Matthew 4:17


8 Comments

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.


8 Comments

Power of God as Our Teacher

 

Power of God as Our Teacher

If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus
Ephesians 4:21

God teaches beyond what any human is capable of. God teaches how, what and when others can not. God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, teaches us through the Bible in combination with the elements of our lives.

The Bible isn’t a book of words like other books; it’s inspired by God. It’s a foundational tool that the Holy Spirit uses to teach us. Life is in God’s words. When we mediate on His truth in faith, it transforms our souls.

To realize that God uses the Bible unlike any other venue is fundamental to understanding it. In connection with the Holy Spirit, the Word is dynamic, alive and transcends the pages in which it’s written. It’s not just a book but a gateway to the presence of God when it’s taught to us by the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit transforms the words written into a powerful tool that penetrates our hearts, minds and souls. If we are seeking, God is speaking His power and love into our spirits regenerating us into new creations. In response to His instruction, we trust and place His truths at the helm of our lives. When we do, truth is at the forefront of all else – as it should be. Psalm 119:24 Isaiah 28:26, 29

The truths of God can only be spiritually discerned; therefore God gives us a Helper to aid us in our learning. We can’t understand them with our physical reasoning capabilities. Therefore, the Holy Spirit instructs our spirits, spirit to spirit. It’s this method on which Christ builds His body, His church. When Peter said Jesus was the Christ, Jesus replied that his understanding did not come from man, but of the Spirit and it’s this spiritual revelation in which Christ would build His church. Matthew 16:17-18. He builds His body by revelation through the Holy Spirit not by carnal reasoning or the instruction of human means.

We have the perfect Teacher and we are able to learn, understand and comprehend the Bible because the Spirit teaches us. We don’t need to rely on anyone to show us the deep truths of God. God teaches the simple and humble His truth. Psalm 25:9 He gave us His Spirit to be well equipped to learn what we need to know. 1 Corinthians 2:10, 1 John 2:27

If you feel that you can’t learn about God through the Bible from His Spirit, dismiss that thought. It’s not from God. Satan knows how powerful the Truth is and what it will do in your life. He will do all he can to distract and discourage you by whispering in your ear that you are too busy, you can’t understand, or you need to rely on others. We have the most incredible Teacher who holds a full-time position to guide us.

2 Corinthians 4:6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Not only are we taught by the Spirit, but the Spirit plays another crucial role. He reveals the lies, deception and misconceptions beyond our awareness. This role of the Spirit is essential to learning truth about God, us, others and this world. If we believe a lie it hinders the truth. This blinding quality is why lies and deception are so harmful. How difficult is it to search out our own hearts out to discover the lies we believe? We are the ones that are deceived. We need a pair of pure eyes examining our souls, which we have in the Holy Spirit.

This is a critical role of the Spirit because what we believe affects how we view God and our relationship with Him. By holding onto false truths we distort who God is to us. When I believed in Santa Claus, I filtered the world around me based on that belief. Though it was a lie, to me it was the truth and I assimilated the world to fit that lie. The Spirit keeps us from trying to fit the Bible to our beliefs and instead fit our beliefs to the Truth.

Further, holding false beliefs about God greatly hinders our relationship with Him. In a marriage, when false assumptions are believed, a barrier is constructed blocking intimacy. Sometimes this miscommunication can get so severe it leads to divorce. We all come to God full of lies, beyond our consciousness. The Spirit’s job is to peel back the layers of our soul and instill truth. Because He is more knowledgeable about us and Himself than anyone else, He is the perfect one to search out our hearts and instill truth. 1 Corinthians 2:11-13, Proverbs 1:23

In the past when others were my teachers, I thought I owned truth because I had nothing to compare it to. Once I started to seek God to be my Teacher then Truth started to penetrate my depths changing me inside out.

God is the most wonderful Counselor, Instructor and Guide we will ever experience if we let Him be. He has told us that He wants to be our Teacher and the choice is ours to accept Him as such in our lives.

If your heart is to know God He will lead you into all truth and He won’t lead you astray. We need to put God first to make His body, the church, strong. It all begins by choosing Him as our Teacher, abiding daily in His Word seeking the guidance of the Spirit, and seeking His instruction in the elements of our lives. Stir the deep with the One you were meant to stir it with, God.


17 Comments

Be a Tree: Rest

Be a Tree: Rest

One of my greatest temptations is to try to fix myself instead of entrust ALL to God. Not sure why it’s still an issue, as I’ve seen over and over again that my efforts avail to frustration, failure, and bondage while God’s work has brought deliverance. Perhaps until now I never really took time to consider just how useless my efforts are and more importantly how contrary they are to God’s instructions to rest in Him, thus a sin.

I suppose to be Mrs. Fix-it tempts me because this philosophy is everywhere in our society and it speaks to our desire to be in control (to be able to have life go according to our will). It paints the illusion that the changes I desire are occurring. This is why the self-help philosophy (as many religions are) is so captivating, you feel you are doing something, taking control, thus moving forward. But, it’s an illusion and instead places huge burdens we can’t really manage. Feeling the sand bags on my shoulders is a sure sign I’m striving when I should be trusting God.

God calls us to rest, wait, and trust. His commandments aren’t burdensome. 1 John 5:3 His yoke is easy and His burden light. Matthew 11:30 When we live His way, we are trusting in Him and not ourselves to perform ALL things for us. Psalm 57:2 God’s way is the only way that makes any real significant transformation for good, true good, in our lives because only He is good.

God calls us to enter into His rest. If we don’t we are being disobedient. Hebrews 4:10-11 Entering into His rest means to cease striving from ours works in all things as He did from His. Could God be that good? Yes.

Most every religion is about your works, about “the law”; what you do in your strength to be who you are suppose to be. They’re about taming your self-desires so that you live a life that is acceptable and good (according to that religion’s definitions of these terms). But what God, the Creator, calls us to isn’t a religion of laws, but to die to our self-will ruling altogether and become a new creation that is a part of His divine nature. As a part of Him, we desire what He does. It isn’t living out some law; it’s living according to His will because it’s who we are as a part of Him.

God is the Creator, not us. He invites us to be a new creation by His design and power. It isn’t taming our old self; it’s all the old things passing away and all things becoming new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 God is the One who works in us. Phil 2:13 We are His workmanship. Ephesians 2:10 It’s a completely different way of thinking that is unlike anything this world offers, because it can’t. The world can’t create something entirely new, but God can and does in us.

God’s gift of eternal life, His life, is real and powerful. The manifestation of His Spirit in us comes little by little, not all at once. This pacing is His design to teach us numerous truths along the way; mercy, love, grace, compassion, humility, perfection of His will, and His sovereignty. Think of all the things we learn by going through this process and it not being immediate. If instant transformation was best, then that is how God would have created it.

Because it isn’t an instant experience, when my impatience starts to intrude, I want to take charge and speed things up. It doesn’t work that way. I’m not the Creator, God is. My part is to rest in His work.

God compares us to trees to teach us about His process of design in making us into who He desires us to be. The tree is in the seed. But the tree is far greater than the seed. We start as a seed. As we are planted in good soil, God’s truth, we start to grow. A tree doesn’t effort its growth; it grows because it’s planted in good soil with proper water and light. We are to let God grow us into the plant He created us to be in all our uniqueness as we abide in Him. We are to let Him be the authority in who we are and what we do. He is God after all.

What is our part then? To abide in the good soil, God’s Truth, and leave the rest up to Him. We are the tree. Have you ever seen a tree strive to grow differently than it does?

When I think about being a part of the divine, I imagine God’s pure and perfect love united to truth flowing through me into the lives of others. Every thought, word and action is governed by His love. My temptation is to try to do this myself or at least speed things up. God gave us a much a better way than our own efforts. He gave us His Spirit and by His life dwelling in us, it changes everything. God makes my love abound, not me. 1 Thessalonians 3:12 When I try, not only am I striving and not resting, trying to tame my rebellious flesh, trying to do God’s job, embracing a “religion” instead of the power of God flowing through me, carrying a burden that I’ll never fulfill, but I’m disobeying God. 1 Thess 4:9

Be planted in good soil, and leave the rest to God. When you do, He will grow you into who you are supposed to be. You will grow in the manner and rate that is best for you. You will abide in rest and peace because you are doing your part and trusting God to do His. It’s truly a much better way to live and the only way to true and abundant life.

God is faithful, perfect in His care. Let go and trust Him. Have no confidence in the flesh or in your ability to “create” yourself. He calls us to this rest and level of trust.

Be A Tree

Workmanship of my Maker
Letting go of being my own creator

A beautiful tree of His design
Fashioned to a new state of mind.

Resting in the soil of truth eternal
Is my daily labor for this small kernel.

Nourished to a majestic tree
Fashioned as no other to be.

His light shines ever brighter
Lifting my soul somewhere higher.

To the heavenly places of His domain
Releasing the strongholds of suffering and pain.

My life I commit to His hands
Destroying the wickedness by His plans.

Breathing in my soul His life divine
A part of His nature, one of a kind.

All my striving is in vain
For I’m not the Creator, but the slain.

Letting go I surrender to His mold
New life awaits as I enter into His fold.

~ Rachel DiPaolo
August 4, 2011


8 Comments

The Purpose and Meaning of Fasting

Blog Talk Radio: The Purpose and Meaning of Fasting

A PODCAST (click here to listen) is available on the deeper meaning of fasting you often don’t hear discussed. You can also get it at Itunes. Search for Stirring the Deep under podcasts.

Overview: Fasting is an area that is greatly misunderstood and misused. When we understand the spiritual implications behind it, then it has tremendous power in our lives.

Here I discuss this act and the spiritual depth and meaning behind it. I hope this explains unanswered questions about it. Hint: it’s much more than not eating.


4 Comments

Elect, It’s Time to Pray

Elect, It’s Time to Pray

Now, unlike any time before, is the time for God’s elect, those who are united to God in truth and spirit, to pray for the deliverance of the souls of others.

In Job 42, God had “accepted” Job because he saw his true self, and in that awareness he repented and turned to God. After coming through the refining trials and continuing to cling to God and the truth, Job finally saw God. He knew Him. Job 42:5-6 Because of the new spirit within Job, God told Job’s friends to go to Job and have him pray for them because He had “accepted” Job. Job 42:7-9 God would hear Job’s prayers.

Why have the elect pray on others’ behalves? They have traversed a journey like Job’s. Like Job, they have passed through the refining trials. As they’ve clung to the truth through them (very important element), they’ve come to a point of “seeing” themselves and God. This awareness has led to a deep repentance at their core, which has affected every area of their lives. As a result, their will is submitted to God’s, and they hold the Spirit of God, the spirit of truth, in them as a new creation. Their lives are a testimony to them of God’s spirit in them. 2 Corinthians 5:5

In being united to God, they abide in God’s truth and are constantly going deeper into it. They put it above all else. Psalm 138:2 They abide in it daily. They desire to obey the truth and be completely consumed by God. That truth in them has sanctified them and prepared them to be powerfully used by God. And because they hold God’s truth, they pray in unison with it.

Connection Between God’s Word and Prayer

Often people dismiss the connection between abiding in the Word of God (truth) and prayer. But the two go hand in hand. If you turn from God’s truth then your prayers lack power. In Proverbs 28:9 it says they not only lack power, but they are an abomination. One, truth reveals who you truly are and who God is. Only when you honestly know both can you repent of one and turn to the other. Two, if you don’t seek and abide in truth then you don’t know God for He is truth. So if you don’t truly know God, who are you praying to? 1 John 5:19

Once through the refining trials and filled with God’s spirit of truth, a person’s prayers have tremendous power. In Revelation 19, Christ, called the Word of God, comes with His saints to conquer. His method of conquering? The sword that comes out of His mouth; His Word, truth. God’s words have power. By them He creates and destroys. Those filled with His Word, hold its power. May we not underestimate the power of it and neglect the Word and the significance of prayers spoken in line with it.

Now God is very merciful. Truth and mercy go hand in hand – thank goodness. Someone who is seeking God in truth, but immature in their understanding of the God and His ways as they progress through the refining trials, probably aren’t praying in line with God’s will. They are unknowingly praying against God’s will, and they don’t really know what is good. But their heart is to know God and their seeking testifies to that fact. Graciously, the Holy Spirit prays on their behalf as they don’t know what to pray. This is why at times they feel their prayers aren’t answered. God isn’t answering them as they expect because of His love. If He did ramifications would be harmful. This is what Satan does, he gives someone what he superficially wants yet it’s to his destruction. God gives you what is best for you, and as you learn in time it’s what you truly desire.

As a young believer continues to abide in the Word and the instruction of the Holy Spirit, they come to better understand God’s will and pray more in line with it, though the Holy Spirit is always interceding to some degree for God’s people because there is always more to learn.

Conversely, for those who have willingly NOT abided in the Word, their prayers lack power. They’ve been misled by false teachers and religious doctrine that abiding in the Word and diligently seeking God by feasting on His truth daily isn’t that important. As a result their prayers are without strength no matter how good they may appear. Matthew 7:22-23 (Though God still shows them mercy in their lives.)

Powerful prayer comes from knowing God and being united to Him in truth and Spirit. It’s then that your heart, mind and spirit are truly united to Him.

John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

Call To The Elect

In Revelation 11, the two witnesses (the two groups of believers, the two lampstands whose light wasn’t removed, who aren’t bound by local institutions, denominations, or titles) stand before God. Their words have tremendous power. Revelation 11:5-6 They intimately know God. They know His truth. They walk in it. They’ve been purified by it. John 17:17. They’ve honored God’s command by doing what He has instructed; know Him, seek Him, abide and mediate on His pure Word that comes from Him. Revelation 2-3 Thus their words and prayers have tremendous power.

God is calling these elect to pray on others’ behalves. They are able to pray in a power and a manner that those consumed in darkness (lies and deception) cannot. God is using them to deliver many because of His great love for ALL His children. God is longsuffering, patient, and waiting for people to truly repent from following self and turn to Him. He doesn’t want any to perish. Because it’s God who saves, prayers are needed by those accepted by Him to pray to have mercy upon souls bound in darkness. Revelation 6:10-11

Do you see the difference of the power of those who are truly of God, who have His Word abiding in them, and who pray in line with His will? In God’s holiness, God’s elect need to pray to an extent that others cannot. Now is the time to pray; to pray for God’s truth to penetrate others’ lives, for their souls to be united to God’s in truth and Spirit, and for God to have mercy.

James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another (and forsake them), and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.


35 Comments

Repentance and Grace

Repentance and Grace

 

With the flooding, earthquakes, fires, and tornados, our hearts should be stirring to repentance. Some think they’ve already repented … back in 1989 when they were “saved” and answered that alter call … but let’s ponder deeper …

Repentance is turning completely in the other direction and walking in it. It’s turning from our self-will, which has dictated our lives since birth, to seek and walk in God’s will and let Him dictate our lives. It’s a very deep soul choice between us and God; our way and His. Luke 13:3 Various sins are simply symptoms of going our own way. Therefore, true repentance is going to the source, our self-will, and choosing not to follow it at all, but choosing to follow God. This requires knowing and trusting God; two things that come from diligently seeking Him. Turning from individual sins is important, but they are only the symptoms to a much deeper repentance, a repentance you come to understand as you seek God with all your heart.

Jesus stood in our place and paid the penalty (death) for our sins (going our way instead of God’s) so we didn’t have to. By paying the penalty, He reconciled us back to God so that now we can live in God’s presence. In removing the barrier of sin, He opened the door so we could dwell in unity with God. NOW it’s our part to walk through that door and the journey entails learning of God and repentance. We can’t walk in God’s way when we are walking in ours. We can’t do what we don’t know, thus the need to seek. As we learn God’s ways, we turn from self and turn to God.

Proof of repentance is abiding in the Bible with the instruction of the Holy Spirit with the motive to know God, because it shows we are seeking God’s will so we can walk in it. We long to know God so we can walk in His ways and be sanctified to become His living temple. Thus, deep repentance is the response to the gift of grace from Christ.

Because of this gift of grace, for some the compelling need for deep repentance is dampened, when it should be heightened. It was for me. I thought because all sins were forgiven that my obedience wasn’t that big of a deal because I was covered. Yes I should obey, but it wasn’t critical. Therefore, abiding in the Bible wasn’t critical. How misled I was. My lack of desire to obey was a sign something was off; I didn’t bear my cross (crucify my self-will) because I was still following self. Therefore, nothing had really changed. My belief was in vain. Not truly turning from self means there is a lack of understanding of what the sacrifice of Jesus was for.

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

Coming to understand what Jesus did for us and our falleness is only an acknowledgement of what is. At this point though we may recognize what is, the deep soul choice between following self and following God is still in favor of self. At this infancy of our understanding, we have no idea of the extent in which we follow self verses God.

What should be happening next is an intense journey of individually seeking God to know Him as He is so we can walk in His will. We are to walk through that door that was opened for us by Christ. We are to learn of God from the Holy Spirit given to us by Christ. It’s God’s truth constantly invading our soul that reveals the depths by which we are dominated by self-will. This is the path of sanctification. It’s the natural progression for one who is a child of God. Therefore, if we knowingly continue in habitual sins, we have neglected to understand Christ’s gift.

Repentance isn’t just an acknowledgement that we have sinned against God; it’s the action of turning away from following self and following God. But we can’t follow what we don’t know. This is why God commands that we seek Him and that we abide in His Word, so we can know His ways and walk in them, thus truly repent. This is why abiding in His Word being taught by Him is proof we are on the path of sanctification. John 17:17

Repentance is key and yet sometimes overlooked in the doctrine of grace. God won’t be mocked. What we sow we will reap. Galatians 6:7 Grace and repentance work hand in hand. Repentance is the manifestation of Christ’s gift of grace in our lives. Jesus and the apostles taught repentance and the kingdom of God. Repentance is how we come to abide in the kingdom of God; which is God’s reign in our soul with His will dominating.

If you are truly born of God, you’ll hate sin. You’ll long to walk in truth and love. You will hunger for His Word, so you know His will. You’ll be taught by God. John 6:45 You’ll want to know HIS will not someone’s thoughts on His will. You come to this point of desire through the grace of God showing you the truth. You come to it because you have sought God. Romans 8:29-30

Have you experienced a deep hearted repentance? Not just from various sins but from your self-will? This is true repentance. Are you walking more in truth today than a couple of months ago? Do you have a LOVE for the truth so that your life is moving to living in God’s will? You can only know His will for YOU if YOU personally seek it from Him. It’s a lifetime and daily activity. Seeking His will isn’t doing what your church says or some religious leader; it’s seeking God’s personal instruction in your life.

If you said no to these, get to know God by seeking Him in the Bible with the instruction of the Holy Spirit. When you come to know Him, you will want nothing of your self-will and everything of His.

Romans 2:4b that the goodness of God leads you to repentance