It was the end of January during one of the coldest winters I could remember, with more snow than I wanted to see and temperatures plummeting to -30 degrees F and staying there for days on end. I had just returned from my first missions trip to Mozambique and was still suffering from a bit of jet lag and more than a bit of culture shock – now reversed. The huge missions compound with 200 children was built on sand, as far as the eye could see and the weary sandaled feet could plod. Temperatures were 120 degrees F and higher indoors than out, unbearable but for the mercy of one beautiful shade tree.
Now I was suddenly plopped back into this Canadian deep freeze, plodding through snow instead of sand. The physical aspects alone were enough to produce culture shock. But that was the least of it. Everything was turned upside down – especially my heart. Pieces of it were left in the red dirt of Africa. I wondered now if I had even been of any help to anyone on this trip, thinking of others who had to care for me when I became ill.
On one of those dead-locked winter days I was driving past a favorite greenhouse that I loved to frequent in the summer. Remembering the scent of roses and wet dirt, of walking through aisles of hundreds of fragrant blooms with the sun coming through all the glass windows, I instinctively pulled into the parking lot. I needed to see something, anything alive and green. The sign on the door read “Open”!
Almost in shock, I turned the handle and the door opened with a creak. I had entered another world. Fog covered the bottom windows while sunlight streamed in from the glass above, melting the snow from my boots into little puddles of water on the concrete floor. The smell of moist earth brought tears to my eyes and the sight of aisle after aisle of green plants was almost dreamlike.
Closer inspection revealed that these were all starters – new, young plants grown from seed or cuttings from last season’s mature plants. Here they were lovingly fed, watered and nurtured to become beautiful, fruitful plants for the season ahead.
I picked up one of the small clay pots in my gloved hands, turning it around to view the tiniest geranium I had ever seen. It was as if a normal geranium had been shrunk to microscopic size. But each leaf was perfectly formed in miniature. Lifting it to my nose brought the same pungent fragrance that had perfumed my gardens for years. Imagine! Something so tiny it was barely identifiable, yet it already contained the true fragrance of the flower it would become next summer when the winter was over and gone.
Tiny tomato plants with the smell of ripe tomatoes brought fresh tears to my eyes and a prayer to my lips there in the midst of the damp earth and the promise of Spring. “Oh God, please let my life be like this tiny plant. Nurture me here in Your arms until all that You’ve placed within me comes into fullness and fruitfulness in the seasons ahead.”
In a dream I seemed to be in a large aquarium, something like Sea World. I was with a group of people in a spacious underground room where there were sofas and chairs scattered around. The group of people was small compared to the room.
Instead of the usual large aquarium that was behind a glass wall at eye level, this one was just a couple of feet above our heads and we were looking up to see the fish. There were many beautiful varieties of fish and other sea creatures but no predators. My attention was drawn to a group of small sea turtles coming my direction. They were about the size of dinner plates. As they drew near I happened to see some of their feet poking through the water into the air around me! Startled, I reached up and touched the water. I had assumed I was underneath a glass ceiling but this was obviously not the case! I poked my hand right up through the water and pulled it back again, laughing. I wasn’t getting splashed or wet at all and no drops were falling on me but there was no barrier between me and the water world above. It was staying where it belonged but it was obvious that I could have gone up into it at will. The other people in the room seemed to understand this and were not frightened by it. They merely smiled at my discovery.
Then one of the others handed me their baby to look after for awhile. He was an adorable little thing and came to me gladly. While I was carrying him around I noticed some seats at a higher level near the water above, so I took him up there. He was delighted with the water and being able to see the fish up close just above him. Laughing, he put his hands up into the water to play with them. I found it interesting that he accepted the water above and the fish gladly with no fear, as if it was normal.
Now I heard a piano and recognized the voice of a favorite worship leader from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, USA. Picking up the baby, I went to join the crowd that had now gathered around the piano in this room under the aquarium.
When I awoke from this strange dream, the Lord began to explain it to me. It was a reminder once again of just how close His realm really is and how easily it can be accessed. There was no barrier between this realm and the Heavenly realm. The veil wasn’t just thin – it didn’t even exist!
There were only a few people who chose to be in this place. To everyone else, what we were experiencing was considered impossible. Taking care of the baby was a picture of leading the young ones higher, caring for them and introducing them to the Spirit realm. These young ones accept it as quite normal.
The worship leader was meant to help us make the transition from our realm (in the lower room) up into the higher realm (in the water). In this case, going from the natural realm here up into the Spirit realm.
Shortly after this dream, the Lord chose to underline it for me once again. I was sitting in a large worship gathering when I noticed that one of the singers on the platform was wearing red sequin shoes that glittered under the lights. I giggled and thought “Hmmm, Dorothy’s ruby slippers! (from the Wizard of Oz) Now what would You like to say to me about that, Lord?” And He quickly replied, “There’s no place like home! And you know that your home is here in My realm with Me.”
Have you ever felt meaningless and wondered why you were ever born? God’s love for every person is vastly beyond our wildest dreams. He calls each of us not only from the womb but from the foundation of the earth. We are loved, cherished and planned for. Then it’s for us to receive His love, agree with His plans and say yes to Him.
Ps. 139:16 (Amp) – Your eyes saw my unformed substance and in Your book all the days of my life were written before they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.
My parents were Believers who loved the Lord. In the early stages of my mother’s pregnancy with me, she was very ill. At 3 months the Dr. was so concerned that he recommended abortion if her health did not improve quickly. In those days this would only have been done to save the mother’s life. Much prayer was offered for her and her health improved enough to carry me safely. The day before I was born she weighed only 98 pounds. There was concern once more at the time of delivery but with much prayer she and I were both safe and healthy.
Several years ago the Lord took me back to those days in a vision. I saw my little mother on her bed during her pregnancy. There were angels surrounding her with such tender care. They were stroking her fevered brow and singing softly to her. Others were laying their hands of healing on her (and on me in the womb). Then the scene changed to the delivery room in the hospital. There was my mother with the Dr. and nurses and among them stood Jesus in a white robe. He was the One who drew me out of my Mother’s womb with such joy. He held me up before the Father and the saints and angels to see, as they rejoiced at my safe delivery. Then He held me close to His chest, looked into my eyes and bonded with me. His were the first eyes I looked into. I have always loved Him and I always will.
Although this is my personal story, I pray that you will read this with the understanding that Jesus loves you in the same way. He watched over you in the womb and attended your birth as well, whether you are aware of it or not. And with this understanding may there also come the sure knowledge that He will take care of the things which concern you and bring to pass all that He has written for you in His book. (Ps.139:16 Amp.) You are loved!
Ps. 22:9,10 (Amp) The Lord will perfect that which concerns me. Your mercy and loving kindness Oh Lord, endure forever. Forsake not the works of Your own hands.
Phil. 1:6 (Amp) And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ (right up to the time of His return), developing that good work and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
We could have been born in any generation. But God chose us to be born in this last day generation, to have the honor of fighting in the last battles and to be worthy to usher in the Kingdom of God. Obviously most of us would call ourselves unworthy and unqualified to fight such a battle. But the choice was not ours. It was His and He always chooses rightly. Receive this as hope. He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. ( Phil. 1:6 ) He will finish what He started, not only in the earth but also in each of us personally … if we remain faithful to Him.
So in addition to placing us in this time period, He has also poured out grace and gifts that the former generations knew little of. Not only did He save us for this time but He also saved specific anointings and giftings because we need them desperately now. We have also been gifted with advanced technology to send the gospel around the world in a moment by common every day people through the internet. And to whom much is given, much will also be required. (Luke 12:48b)
Take courage. The days you were born for are upon you. Courage is already within you, in the form of the Spirit of the Lord, the Victor, the Champion. Greater is He who is in us than he that is in the world. (1 Jn. 4:4) Courage is not necessary when we are sitting by the fireplace drinking tea. In fact, it’s difficult to muster much of it in that instance. But when the battle comes, it will be activated and we will find there is more within us than we knew. This, of course, is not for the purpose of pride. Pride goes before a fall. (Prov. 16:18 )
It is very difficult to write a blog post of this nature and not refer to “The Lord of the Rings” or “The Hobbit”. Jesus often speaks clearly to me through movies and Tolkeins writings are full of prophetic significance for this present hour and that which is to come. Those of you who know these movies will agree. But for my purpose here I will simply refer to the general underlying theme that it is often the small people, the unlearned, the insignificant in the sight of the world who find great courage, become great heroes and end up saving the world in these stories. And as a side note, it also requires those at odds with each other to finally join together to fight and defeat a common enemy.
In our day it comes down to this: There are only 2 choices … for God or against Him. We choose to be for Him when our thoughts and beliefs and attitudes agree with His. This will require our knowing what He actually did say and not just what we thought He said or what we were taught by others. The Word of God just became even more important.
Don’t make survival your goal. You are destined to be an over-comer. Much of what you have to overcome is on a personal level and it counts. Without that you would never make it to the higher levels of the battle or the higher ranks of the army. Hopelessness must be defeated. There is always hope in Christ. The fear of man must be defeated as well and replaced with the fear of God. In fact, the fear of God is a positive cure for the fear of man. Just ask Isaiah or John in the book of Revelation. This is a time to arise in intercession and also make a strong stand for God and righteousness. He is with you.
There is much more that could be said but I will refer you back to a previous article in this blog called Stand and Be Strong from Feb. 24, 2014. https://comeawaymylove.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/stand-and-be-strong/
The logs crackled and snapped in the campfire as Jesus unfolded a large wool blanket and draped one end around my shoulders. Then He pulled the other end around His own shoulders and sat down on the log beside me as we faced the fire. The surf pounded on the beach nearby and tiny crabs ran into their holes to hide. Enjoying the beauty of His creation, the Lord breathed in the salty air and watched the night sky with pleasure as one by one the bright stars appeared above us. Soon we were surrounded by His galaxies in the canopy overhead.
Time always seems to be suspended when I am with Him like this. It does not pass, it just is. He is never in a hurry. He has all the time in the world. After all, He created time and it submits to Him. In one instant He can remove me from the cares and stress of life and transfer me into His timeless realm of peace, showing me where reality truly lies. It is as though life in the realm we consider real is only a tragic story in a book. Then we lift our eyes and close the book and are once again in the present reality of His realm of glorious life.
The warmth of Him close beside me dispelled the chill of the night air. Quietly now He sharpened the end of a long stick with a pocket knife. Then He reached into a bag of marshmallows and placed one on the end of the stick. Grinning at me, He held the stick over the fire. When the marshmallow was golden He pulled off the outer layer, as I had done as a child, and popped it into my mouth.
What detailed care He takes to surprise us with such small, yet wonderful encouragements of His love. The cares of many days rolled away as I sat on the beach, eating marshmallows with my friend, the Creator.
Recently I read a posting on Elijahlist by Kathi Pelton regarding revelation the Lord had given her about peace. It seemed such vital information that I wanted to share it with you. She said:
Peace creates an atmosphere of blessing, but fear creates an atmosphere of warfare. The Holy Spirit spoke to me one day and said, “Fear is like bait for demons. They smell it and they gather to it in order to feast of its many delights. It gives strength to demons and leaves its victim weak and vulnerable.”
Then He went on to say, “Peace is absolute confusion to the enemy. He doesn’t recognize it; he cannot work within the atmosphere of peace because chaos and peace cannot coexist. Peace is the pathway to the banqueting table that I’ve prepared for you in the presence of your enemies. Peace is to fear like light is to darkness; it dispels it.”
This was one of the greatest revelations that I have ever received. Honestly, the majority of the warfare that I’ve faced in my life has come from lack of peace. The loss of peace increased my warfare, because fear came in and the enemy had an atmosphere that he could breathe and work in. As I have allowed the Holy Spirit to take me into deeper levels of peace I have found that it is an atmosphere of breakthrough. It is as if peace creates a portal that bypasses the enemy’s opposition on some level. As I have come into greater peace, I have also discovered that I can more clearly hear the voice of wisdom. Peace calms the storm and the noise produced by fear, allowing us to hear the counsel and wisdom of the Lord.
* Elijahlist article posted by Kathi Pelton, May 9,’15 (www.elijahlist.com)
Out of the swirling water colors a white horse appeared and the smiling face of Jesus locked gazes with me. When He reached for my hand and pulled me up onto the horse with Him, it was one fluid motion like color being swished onto a canvas. We rode off into the heavens, landing gently on the Sea of Glass in the Throne Room.
There was a host of saints and angels there and immediately all the attention was on Him. He dismounted, nodded His head gracefully to them with a slight bow and turned to help me down from the horse. Then He took my hand and presented me to them. Though I have been there many times, the beauty of Heaven and purity of those there is still a shock to the human system. I felt like Cinderella at the ball with the Prince at my side. He was affirming His relationship with me in front of them all. It is easy to be overcome and terribly insecure in those moments except for all of Rick Joyner’s teaching experiences from Heavenly realms. The Lord told him so many times that he was not to look at himself or compare himself to those who had been purified by the judgments, but to look at Him alone.
Jesus was regal and calm as always and seemed to be enjoying the moment. Still, He saw that I was clinging to His hand. Looking at me quietly, as if He was doing something just for me, He squeezed my hand and said,
“Come with Me. I want to show you something.”
Immediately we were on a high mountain, a familiar place I’ve come to call ‘the mountain at the edge of eternity’. I love this place where anything can happen. It’s full of possibility and destiny with that wild wind of the Spirit blowing our hair and garments. Up on that mountain we started to walk in the green meadow and suddenly came upon a high hill. I had never noticed it in the times I had been there before.
Jesus became serious and quietly said to me, “This is the hill of sacrifice. Your sacrifice. It’s all you have sacrificed for My sake and the Gospel over the years.”
I was stunned! As soon as my vision cleared, for I was sobbing, I looked closer at the hill. Now I could see it was made up of houses and land and gardens and things – many fine things that would go in a house, even beautiful cats! It was also made up of people … so many, many people. There were friends and co-workers and people who we could network with to spread the Gospel. There were also schools and training centers and churches, good churches full of good, faithful people who were mature in spirit and had single eyed devotion for Him alone.
As I gazed at this in awe, Jesus continued to speak to me.
“All the things you have sacrificed for Me have come up to Me and I have used them to build this memorial. But more than just a memorial here in Heaven of your sacrifice, I have multiplied them a hundred fold and I have glorified each one of them and now I am bringing them back to you! Some will stay here to be a blessing to you in your future life here. But much of this will be coming back to you on earth now to bless you and help you fulfill your destiny there.”
I thought of all that I had sacrificed … houses and lands and things. And of all the things that we could not do or be involved in because we were being called out of one place and into another. All the years that I desperately clung to His promises and fought to stay free and not be tied down to anything, even things and places and people that I loved, to just try to stay in line for the ministry that I believed was coming, so that when the doors finally opened I’d be ready to go. And I wept and remembered the joy when the doors finally opened.
Much of what I saw in that hill was people, a vast number of people. I thought about the many times when the enemy stole opportunities from us to go and minister to groups of people. Or times when we actually went but then things prevented people from coming or receiving what we had brought for them. And there they all were in that hill. There were not only the things I had sacrificed but also all that the enemy had stolen from me! I thought about the scriptures that I had prayed so often:
And Jesus replied, “Let me assure you that no one has ever given up anything—homes, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or property—for love of me and to tell others the Good News, who won’t be given back, a hundred times over, homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land—with persecutions! All these will be his here on earth, and in the world to come he shall have eternal life.” Mark 10:29-30 Living Bible (TLB)
Have you grown weary from all the loss? Take heart! Nothing of value in your life is ever lost. It goes on into eternity and is multiplied a hundred times to bless you and so many others. Much of it will be showered back on you in this life and much more than you can imagine is waiting for you there in your Heavenly home with Him.
I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed to Him (to guard my deposit) against that day. 2 Tim. 1:12
We have been discussing success from Heaven’s viewpoint, in contrast to an earthly perspective. (See previous post ‘What is the measure of success’.) How can we have a secret, hidden life in God and also be about building the Father’s Kingdom on this earth?
These 2 things – the hidden life or the public life, may seem so far apart they contradict each other. I have struggled with this concept many times as well. I am so in love with Jesus that I desire and need to spend much time alone with Him, just sitting at His feet and gazing into His wonderful eyes. Then there also comes a point where I desire and need to be out ministering to people and drawing them closer to Him as well, building His Kingdom.
One day in the middle of my confusion about this, the Lord showed me the Bride in the Song of Solomon. A careful reading of this short book will reveal that she lives there with Him in the mountains in an intimate relationship. Then she comes ‘with Him’, leaning on His arm, as they go down into the villages to check on the fruit and into the vineyards to bring in the harvest! I was stunned at their lovely and natural rhythm. It was like a dance that came out of intimacy and obedience. We are “in Him” (1 John 5:20) and He abides in us. (Gal.2:20) Intimacy produces fruitfulness. As we stay in this love relationship with Him, He flows out through us to accomplish whatever He calls us to do. It is always Him actually accomplishing anything through us. We just obey by walking through the doors He opens, going where He calls us to go or responding to His call of intimacy to come away with Him.
Recently I heard someone sharing a vision he had of the Heavenly City, the New Jerusalem coming down to earth. (Rev. 21:2) There he saw the Lamb of God upon His throne and His Bride beside Him.
He said, “I looked at the throne of the Lamb. The Bride was with Him on the throne but I could not see a distinction between the two! They are one. She is with Him wherever He goes. ”
Consider the rhythm of Jesus earthly ministry. With the job description the Father gave Him, He could have been the most frustrated man on the planet! He had such a short space of time to accomplish the Father’s will. Yet, He was never in a hurry, He stopped for individuals who needed Him, He was full of peace and patience … How did He do this? Bear in mind that at this point He had laid aside His Divinity and chosen to live this life as a man filled with the Holy Spirit as an example for us to follow. (Phil.2:5-8) His method was part of that example. He only did what He saw the Father doing and heard the Father saying. He spent large amounts of time alone with His Father in prayer. Then He simply listened and obeyed whatever the Father told Him. Was He successful? In the eyes of the world and many of His followers His death looked like failure. At least for 3 days! They did not understand that He had defeated death, hell and the grave. (Rev. 1:18) Successful? Absolutely. For eternity.
True success in this life depends largely on our relationship with Him and how much of the image of Christ is formed within us. This is what the Father is looking for. ( Rom.8:29, 2 Cor.3:18, Gal.4:19, Rom.12:2 ) Everything that we ‘do’ here will only be an outflow of that foundational relationship. Christ in us. ( Gal.2:20, Col.1:27)