Archive for the ‘peace’ Tag
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)
There is a place of peace that is unnatural to this realm. It is a peace in the midst of the storm, a peace in spite of circumstances. It cannot be understood by the natural mind and must be accessed and nurtured by the spirit.
It can come at the oddest times. Or so it seems. When things around you are very stressful and so many facts and options and ideas are pressing against you, demanding your attention, there comes a breath of something totally unrelated. It may be a memory or a fragrance that suddenly takes you back to another time or place. Or it may come at a time when you are just involved in your daily routine. But suddenly there is something different in your spirit, an instant quietness as if everything was just dialed down. For a few brief seconds you are able to see and sense things you could not before. Your spiritual eyes are opened to see into Heavenly realms.
When God pulls back the veil ever so slightly, eternity comes rushing in to envelop us. Then we realize once again that it was there all the time but we did not see. Like the mountains which surround the valley I live in, they are always there. But on a cloudy day they are completely invisible. It is only when the clouds roll back that their snowy peaks appear against the blue sky in such brilliance it brings tears to my eyes as I “look unto the hills from whence comes my help”. (Ps.121:1)
There is a hidden path of peace that we must find and learn to stay there. If you are very sensitive and anticipating His slightest touch, His hand will guide you and keep you on that path. Any feelings of anxiety are usually indications that you’re looking in the wrong direction, considering options that are not on the path set for you. “Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee” (Isa.26:3)
There are moments when He breaks in so quietly and softly that we could easily miss it. They are invitations, like a hand reaching down. We can take His hand and escape with Him as He leads us into the perfect way He has planned for us. When these moments happen and we feel that Divine peace flooding in, we must pay attention and recognize that this is God, not something natural. It will take some effort to do this. If we ignore those moments as they flit past us, we are engulfed once again with the cares of this life and in a short time we have forgotten the small nudge from the Spirit.
We must pursue those moments when they come to us. Stop. Just stop where you are and be still, completely still. Search for that small opening like a light at the end of the tunnel and focus all your attention on it. Feel your emotions and mind and body relax completely in His presence and enter into His realm which was this close all along. Now you can go where He takes you and receive whatever He has for you. Even if you don’t quite make it into a vision or hear His voice, you will still become more aware of Him and His realm and it will have a profound and ongoing effect on you.
Recently I read a prophetic word online that brought such a rush of sweetness to my spirit. It said this:
“The seasons of time have changed. Eternity is now flooding into time. I am calling you into the ‘no time’ zone, the realm of eternity within you.”
We were created to be creatures of both realms – the earth realm and the heavenly realm. He has placed eternity in our hearts. (Ecc.3:11 NIV)
Oh God, I pray that You would make us increasingly AWARE of Your Presence and Your realm all around us.
“In the midst of the chaos of your life when you cannot seem to find My presence, stop and quiet your soul. Listen for My still, small voice within you. I am here. I promised to never leave you and I never will. Stop and quiet yourself as David did. (Ps.131:2) You will need to consciously dial down the noise of the outside world and step out of your realm and into Mine. I have given you this ability. You are not of this world even as I am not of this world. (John 17:14) (See archived postings under “Created for both realms”)
I hear you saying, “I can’t do this … it’s too hard … I don’t know how … I’m not strong enough.” And I agree! In fact I have already told you this long ago. Without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5) Ah, but beloved you are not without Me. I dwell within you. The good news is that I have already conquered all that you come against and all that comes against you. Since I am in you and you are in Me, you can do all things through Me because I strengthen you. (Phil.4:13) Let Me fill you with the peace of God and set you in the middle of chaos where My peace is needed. Stand back and watch as My peace flows out of you and into the people around you. You are plugged in to the power source of Heaven. It’s not about you or your strength but only the strength of your relationship with Me.
Many of My people question Me when they go through testing and training. They wonder if they have done something wrong and think I am punishing them. But this is an incorrect mindset. You haven’t done anything wrong – you are doing something right! You have passed the primary tests and now you can go on to the next level. You must be trained as a good soldier (2 Tm.2:3) so that you can become stronger and able to not only stand but overcome in the battle that is yet ahead. I would not be a good Father if I allowed my children to be lazy or disobedient and then elevated them to a position of responsibility that they were not able to handle. Children must be trained. No child likes the training (Heb.12:11) but the mature begin to understand and look forward to the challenge, knowing it will produce strength. You are being conformed into the image of Christ. There is nothing greater than that.
I am with you, beloved. I am for you. I will not allow you to be tested more than you are able to bear. (1 Cor.10:13 – the word ‘temptation’ in the King James can also be translated ‘discipline’.) You have given your life to Me. Now will you trust Me to know the best way to mold you into My image? Look ahead and see the final result of a spotless Bride who will rule and reign with Me for all eternity. You are preparing for that now. The Bride is making herself ready.” (Rev.19:7)
There are many who have stepped from this earthly realm into the Heavenly one and returned here again. Many in the Scriptures had such experiences and many since that time have also gone back and forth. The door in Revelation chapter 4 is still open and the Lord is still saying to us, “Come up here”.
In past postings, we have looked at those in Scripture who had experiences in Heavenly realms. Today I’d like to share some things from one of my favorite books on this subject: Intra Muros, My Dream of Heaven by Rebecca Ruter Springer. She was a Methodist writer who lived from 1832 to 1904. And lest the title, “My Dream of Heaven” be misunderstood, my research tells me that the subject of Heaven was a popular one for fiction writers of the day, sometimes referred to as a ‘fanciful sketch’. But Rebecca obviously had a death experience, went to Heaven and was eventually sent back to earth. Hers is a very detailed account of the splendor of Heaven and daily life there for the Redeemed. Here are her first impressions upon arriving in Paradise, the garden of God:
“What a scene was that upon which I looked. Away, away – far beyond the limit of my vision, I well knew, stretched this wonderful sward of perfect grass and flowers. And out of it grew equally wonderful trees, whose drooping branches were laden with exquisite blossoms and fruits of many kinds. I found myself thinking of St. John’s vision in the Isle of Patmos and the “tree of life” that grew in the midst of the garden, bearing twelve manner of fruits, and whose leaves were for the healing of the nations. Beneath the trees, in many happy groups, were little children laughing and playing, running hither and thither in their joy, and catching in their tiny hands the bright-winged birds that flitted in and out among them, as though sharing in their sports, as they doubtless were. All through the grounds people were walking, sometimes in groups, sometimes by twos, sometimes alone, but all with an air of peacefulness and happiness that made itself felt by even me, a stranger. All were in spotless white, though many wore about them or carried in their hands, clusters of beautiful flowers.
Look where I would, I saw half hidden by the trees, elegant and beautiful houses of strangely attractive architecture, that I felt must be the homes of the happy inhabitants of this wonderful place. I caught glimpses of sparkling fountains in many directions and nearby flowed a river with water clear as crystal. The one thought that fastened itself upon me as I looked, breathless and speechless, upon this scene was “Purity, purity!” No shadow of dust, no taint of decay on fruit or flower, everything perfect and pure. The air was soft and balmy though invigorating, and instead of sunlight there was a golden and rosy glory everywhere, something like the afterglow of a sunset in midsummer.
The houses that we passed seemed wondrously beautiful to me. They were built of the finest marbles, encircled by broad verandas, the roofs or domes supported by massive or delicate pillars or columns, and winding steps led down to the pearl and golden walks. Flowers and vines grew luxuriantly everywhere and surpassed in beauty even those of my brightest dreams. Happy faces looked out from these columned walls and happy voices rang upon the clear air from many a celestial home.”
Rebecca also gives detailed accounts of the saints in Heaven – those she had known and loved on the earth before their death and entry into that glorious realm. And she speaks much of the links between the two realms, of how we are preparing now on earth for the Heavenly life in eternity. We will study some of these topics in future postings.
May we live each day with eternity in mind, understanding that the choices we make now are shaping our future there.
The purpose of this blog is two-fold. It is to help restore the Bride of Christ to intimacy with Him and to teach her to fly. After laying a foundation of intimacy with the Lord for several months we have also spent time on the fact that we are created to be creatures of both the natural and the spiritual realms. We are meant to ascend into Heavenly realms. The next few posts will deal with some ways to actually do that – how to get there. After that we will talk much more about Heavenly realms
Keep in mind that this is a relationship, not a formula. Still, there are some things I have found helpful on the journey that I’d like to share with you. The first, and one of the most important is:
Learning to quiet your spirit
Have you ever felt like you were standing in an electronics shop where there were 15 televisions all turned on and set to different channels? You are being asaulted with a barage of visual and sensory information constantly that you didn’t ask for and usually don’t even want. This makes it very difficult to hear the still, small voice of the Lord.
Oh certainly, God can make Himself heard with thunder in His voice when He chooses to. But most of the time He chooses not to because He wants such a close relationship with us that we can hear and respond when He whispers. That requires our head quietly resting on His shoulder. It is crucial that we spend quality time alone with Him daily. This is beyond our times of intercession, Bible reading and devotion. This is intimacy with the Lord.
When I first began doing this it was out of sheer desperation for Him. Jesus was drawing me and I was falling more in love with Him. But I was nervous and figity, always needing to be doing something. Sitting quietly was not on my list of favorites. Still, I longed for Him so much that I was willing to try. I would wait till I was alone and the house was quiet. Sometimes I put on quiet worship music but sometimes even that distracted me and I found myself singing along instead of focusing on Him. Eventually I found that worship music with no words, with an unfamiliar melody, worked best for me. I could not hum the tune or sing the words. This left my mind more free to ascend with Him and eventually let Him turn the music into a sound track for the vision He was giving me. Amazing!
In those waiting times I would have my Bible and journal close by. But this was not a time for reading or writing or even praying. He specifically told me to put the prayer list away during those times. It was His time. Time to really be with Him. To come into His presence and sit with my head on His chest. Sometimes we talked and sometimes we didn’t. Love is like that.
Many times it was so difficult to really get there. I’d keep pushing out all the other thoughts and they would keep barging back in. If thoughts came about things I needed to remember, I’d quickly write them down and put them aside to think about later. Sometimes I’d sit there for an hour and never even really feel His presence. Sometimes I’d get frustrated and just get up and try again later. Usually my initial prayer was “Jesus, I’m here and I just want to be with You. Please help me focus on You. Help me to feel You, see You, hear You.” When I began to feel His presence it was worth it all and I could just stay there with Him and lose track of time.
Eventually, over the months, I began to realize that the time it took to quiet myself and really feel His presence was becoming shorter. It decreased from an hour, to half an hour, to a matter of minutes. I began to pray “Lord, make me so aware of Your presence with me all the time.” Finally, at any point during the day, I could close my eyes and immediately sense and know His presence all around me and sometimes even see His face. He wants this to be normal for us!
I also found that staying in that place required the same discipline. If my schedule became cluttered, even with good things, and the routine was broken I had to apologize for neglecting Him and begin the same discipline once again. This is a romance. He desires to be with us more than we long to be with Him.
Yes, there are times we experience great spiritual warfare, when it becomes more and more difficult to actually feel His presence. But even in those times when we seem to be required to walk in the dark, He is there watching our trust in Him grow stronger. Even the angels are in awe when we persevere. They dwell in the midst of such glory that worship is a natural response. But when we who live in such darkness, keep worshipping and trying when we cannot see or even feel Him, it brings tears to their eyes and makes them even more glad to be sent here as ministering spirits to help us. (Heb. 1:14)
We will continue this theme in the next post. But for now, let me pray for you.
Jesus, I pray for everyone reading these words. I ask you to bring peace to their troubled souls. I take authority over scattered thoughts, confusion and lack of focus and I declare that Your peace pours over them and into them now like oil. I decree quietness over them and in the quietness they will hear your voice. In Jesus name, Amen.
These are challenging times when we are facing great difficulties and uncertainties. This is causing fear in many of God’s people. Recently the Lord reminded me that His peace is another one of those crucial blessings that flow out of intimacy with Him. Let me share with you what He said:
“Fear will only cripple you and hold you back. Fear is from the enemy of your soul. Do not listen to or agree with fear. As the times grow darker, peoples hearts are failing them because of fear. But not you! I have delivered you and trained you and filled you with My peace. Then I set you among them to help deliver them from fear and show them the way of peace.”
“You must continually dwell in Me and in My peace, so that same peace can flow out of you and into the darkness around you. You are the light of the world. (Mt. 5:14-16) Only when you are hidden in Me, only when you live in that secret place of intimacy with Me can I flow through you unhindered to bring light to those around you. It’s not just something you do. It’s who you are … it’s who I Am within you.”
“When you feel that peace disturbed or sense a lack of peace within you, stop and return to Me. Come and really be with Me. I am standing beside you, waiting with open arms. I will never leave you. (Heb.13:5) Call to Me and I will answer you. (Jer.33:3)”
“Come and let Me breathe the breath of My Spirit on you once again.”
There is a place of peace and rest so deep in God that the things in this world cannot overwhelm us. (Phil. 4:6,7)
It is a place where fear and anxiety are lifted from our minds. The darkness and difficulties of this realm simply have no power over the reality of His realm.
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 this 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 bride of Christ is also a warrior bride in the middle of a fierce spiritual battle. We are not given a choice of being one or the other. We are both. The Apostle Paul wrote more than anyone else about our relationship as the bride of Christ. But he also spent much time telling us to fight the good fight of faith, put on the whole armor of God and be over-comers. (1 Tm. 6:12, Eph. 6:10-18, 2 Cor. 10:4) We ride with the King and the King wins. Incidentally, the fact that you are still standing qualifies you to become an over-comer. If you have fallen, just get up again. A righteous man falls seven times and rises again. (Prov. 24:16 Amp.) If you don’t quit … you win.
This is a present reality where realms overlap. We have the ability to see and experience both realms at once … the natural and the spiritual. In times of great trouble and chaos here, we are clothed in the armor of God with the sword of the Spirit in our hands and a crown of wisdom upon our heads. Yet at any time during that storm we can also enter deeply into His presence where He ministers peace and strength to us for the battle that still lies ahead. He is literally the calm in the storm.
He illustrated this to me once so beautifully:
Thunder rolled and heavy rain pounded the tin roof of the house where we had gathered to worship. The next lightening bolt put out the electricity. Lighting some candles, the worshippers continued as His anointing increased.
Suddenly Jesus came and took me away with Him … somewhere. It was evening and we seemed to be in a small cottage in a forest. The roof and three of the walls were made of glass. The fourth wall was stone and housed a huge fireplace. The same storm was going on in this place as well.
Curious, I watched as the rain beat down on the roof causing rivers of water to wash down the glass outside. The noise of the thunder was strangely muffled as if it was far away, even though the lightening was flashing all around. But I was resting safely in His arms on a sofa facing the fireplace.
There are no words to describe the contentment, the peace, the fulfillment or the deep, deep love. There are no feelings of anxiety because there’s nothing one could possibly be anxious about. There are no questions that need answered. There are no frustrations, just overwhelming peace and love.
After a long while He spoke softly to me.
“My darling, your whole life has been and still is a storm like this. But you must learn to come to Me in the midst of your storm and rest in My arms as you are doing now.”
He gazed thoughtfully into the fire before continuing.
“This is real, much more real than the natural realm. The storm in your realm never really ceases. You must learn to live with Me here and operate from My realm.”