It’s in the lines around her eyes. In the invisible trails left by tears shed in secret. I see it. I see a lot of things. hurt. betrayal. wounds of various kinds. pain. things done in secret, kept a secret. … Continue reading
I have a new philosophy in life. Applying it has begun to save me a lot of stress. It’s simple in theory. Just Don’t Look This idea came to me in the car. I have four children and one on … Continue reading
It’s our 5-year anniversary for one of the sweetest miracles we have walked through. Joshua Iason Noah was born in the evening of September 17th, weighing just barely 6lbs, being induced early for safety reasons and deciding to arrive so … Continue reading
refuge; a place to go to find where you find protection from something dangerous or threatening, to flee to, a shelter for protective purposes.
conquer; to take control of, to defeat, to gain control of through great force or threat.
plague; a large number of harmful or annoying things, a disease that causes death quickly to a large number of people.
home; the place where a person lives, a family dwelling together in one building, a place where something and naturally located.
Jesus, how precious is Your name to me! You remind me that there is no place on earth, above it or beneath its depths, that I can hide from You. No matter where I run, You are there. And You also make it clear that the only safe place I will ever find is by hiding in You. When You are Who I turn to for comfort, conversation, and instruction; when You are where I look for answers and to find provisions, when I am normally found in Your presence, as if in my natural habitat, then I am fully hidden in You. This is where I find perfect and supernatural protection. No evil will be able to take control over or defeat me, and plagues will bypass me. Do I even know the value of these words?
LORD, stir in my heart and in the minds of all who love You, to hunger and crave understanding of Your ways. Wake up sleepy minds to the present power of Your promises, the relevant application of your Word this day. Savior, teach us to know You in such intimacy that all who are looking will find You when they see us in perfect peace. Amen.
“If you make the LORD your refuge; if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.”
Think about it… “No weapon formed against me will prosper…” What does this really mean? Of course there are the spiritual weapons… trials, temptation, deception… but the verse doesn’t say, “no SPIRITUAL weapon formed against you will prosper,” it says, … Continue reading
to look; to direct your eyes toward something or someone, to think about a situation or subject carefully, to closely examine, a visual search or examination.
to approach;to come near to in quality, character, time or condition, to come within range.
recompense; make amends for loss or harm suffered, to compensate, compensation or reward given for loss or harm suffered.
Holy Spirit, how many wonders do you have? How can I possibly praise you enough for the miracles I have seen with my own eyes? You have made the impossible a reality, brought dreams to life and in miraculous ways You have protected those who know and love You. I have only to look back over my brief life to see the events that betray Your hand at work on my behalf, protecting me from dangers, sickness and even death. You have surrounded me, enveloped me and encased me in Your very presence. Though many have fallen prey and some have passed away, You have kept Your steadfast hand upon me. Lord, please, wake up the ones You love, who listen to Your voice, rise up in us the voice to call out for those who do not yet know the protection and healing, the life and power, You afford us at our invitation. Give us the voice and the faith to stand in Your grace and to pull others in with us, to know and to love You. Thank You for Your faithful action at the promise of Your Word. That those who turn away from sin, the arrogance of hurting others for the sake of selfish gain, the arrogance of our own understanding and pride in our own achievements without acknowledgement of You, of foolishness and ignorance; they are securely protected in You. Teach us all to know You, and to love like You so that we are all covered in Your promise. Amen.
“A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.”
terror; a state of intense fear, a very strong feeling of fear, one that inspires fear, a frightening aspect, a cause of anxiety.
arrow; a shaft sharpened at one end shot from a bow as a weapon or for sport.
pestilence; fatal epidemic diseases.
destruction; the act of destroying or state of being destroyed, demolition, a cause of ruin.
Savior, You are my Hero. Your presence on this earth, Your death and resurrection, the power in Your name; all that You are has given me such hope! You have not only set me free and delivered me from every danger, you protect me from all elements of every kind of evil. I have no reason to fear. Your love for me is so perfect in power and ability. Whether it is the thief and stalker at night, or the taunting and threats of the enemy during the day, illnesses hiding in wait, or impending natural disasters – all of these things You overcame and are victorious to save me and my family from. Thank you for your provision of protection and the faithfulness with which You keep me in Your perfect peace. Please, Lord, open up eyes and hearts of those who love you everywhere, to speak and believe and walk in the Truth of your word, to bring comfort to those who are hurting, broken and suffering. I love you. Amen.
“You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; or of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.”
to deliver: to carry and turn over, give into another’s possession or keeping, surrender, to bring support, give forth words, utter or pronounce verdict, to give birth, as a service of goods, to carry out as promised, to set free.
to cover: to place upon or over so as to protect, conceal, overlay or spread with something, to wrap up; clothe, to invest oneself with a great deal of something, extend over, to sit on or hatch, to hide or screen from view or knowledge, to protect or shield from harm, loss or danger, to protect by insurance, compensate or make up for, be sufficient to defray, meet or offset cost or charges, to make provision for, to take into account, to deal with, to be responsible for, to hold, to protect, to guard, to defend, to match in wager, to purchase, to act as a substitute, to hide something in order to save from sensor or punishment.
LORD God, my Father and my Friend, thank you for never leaving me. Thank you for sticking by my side since the day I was born, for constantly pursuing me and steadily winning my heart and mind with Your love. Thank you for delivering me from every danger that’s entered my life, for protecting my health and my living. You’ve never wavered in Your love and care for me, but instead you have cloaked me in Your patience, gentleness, warmth and protective presence. And you continue to watch over me, casting a protective shadow over every day ahead of me. You bring me every good thing and you carry my family through every season, already You have set in place every perfect provision we will need. I love you, Abba Father. Amen
“For it is HE who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.”
In the background are the faded noises of busy laughter, the business of getting dinner on the table, dishes unloaded, and the day’s events downloaded by each tiny muffled voice.
A heart beat thrums steadily in my ears.
Beautiful. Life. Steady.
A grounded, rhythmic lifeline to all that seems so incredibly important, and so indefinably fragile… a heartbeat thrums steadily in the silence…
The flutter in my chest rises. I should be with them. Did I tell them I love them today? Did I yell at them too much? Do they know that I love them? What memories have we made? Will they remember that I love them? Does he know how grateful I am? Will he know how much I love him? Does he know how important he is to me? More muffled laughter and clinking plates…
Anxiety flitters around, searching for a place to land… NO. I breath in. I breath out.
A grounded, rhythmic lifeline to all that seems so incredibly important, and so indefinably fragile… a heartbeat thrums steadily in the silence… refusing a resting place for anxiety.
I breath in. I breath out. A heart beat thrums steadily in my ears. But one persistent question looks for a spot to land…
Am I doing enough?
My Bible and three books that I long to read lay tossed around me. My journal just a few inches away. Tears roll down my cheeks as I realize how much I long to do more, to soak up more, to understand more and to live from a depth that draws my family in… to envelope them in the same love and life that has begun to consume me. I long for my husband to know how truly head-over-heals in love with him I am; to show him every day the love that builds him up and pulls him closer, always closer. To shower my children with adoration in measure with the miracles that they are.
Longing. Is it all just a longing?
A stream of scenes roll across my mind as this questions looms larger than life. Feelings… less than loving… rush like rapids over my lungs, and I am gasping and choking on the tears as I recall words, thoughts, attitudes, emotions, all proving me to be completely lacking. Failing.
For a fleeting moment I am trapped in this tug-of-war with anxiety…
The rhythm… steady… beautiful… life. I breath in. I breath out.
Life steadily pounds in my ears. I hear my name. Just a whisper. A life-line.
What do you want to say, Lord?
“Daughter, you measure up. You do enough. You are amazing in My eyes. I am pleased. So much more than you know, Child. I love that you are here, with Me. Waiting, listening. Daughter, you are forever searching out My thoughts, seeking My heart. I know your deepest desires and I love you for them. Daughter, you treasure Me and what I think. You keep Me in the center of all you do, even when you forget, you are quick to remember. I look at you and I see Perfection. Thank you for coming away. Thank you for valuing Me enough to step into the quiet places, to trust Me with the welfare of those babies I knit together. Thank you for loving Me. You are enough.”
In the quiet, steady, silence I can hear it. His heart beating; beating steadily for me.
Beautiful life; His living in me, His power at work through me, on my behalf.
I don’t know what your background is. Mine is Conservative Baptist. I was not raised to believe in “baptism of the Holy Spirit” and I was raised to believe that when you ask Jesus into your heart you are given the Holy Spirt, and that is enough. That the rest is up to you to make good choices because you read and memorize Scripture. Oddly enough, it has been reading and memorizing Scripture that opened my eyes to how much more power and authority we have when we do receive a baptism of the Holy Spirit – a baptism of fire. (Acts)
My friend, the one who introduced me to deliverance, put it this way: When you buy a house it has a yard. Front, back and sides, surrounding the house. When you go to live in this house, you set up your living space inside, in the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, living and dining rooms.
The yard represents the spirit of us. Where we connect with the outside. The house represents where we spend most of our time, our soul. Where our thoughts, our will and our emotions dwell.
When you ask Jesus to come into your heart, you are inviting Him into your yard. You are sealed for eternity with His Spirit in your spirit, fully surrounded. I have learned that most people stop here. At least, I did. Having been told that this was enough. Assurance of eternal life and sins forgiven. However, living constantly in my spirit is as practical as living constantly outside in my yard. Because I only spend a portion of my time in my spirit, or out in my yard, I only gain that much understanding of God, Who He is and how He functions.
Most of us live in our houses. Metaphorically, this is within our thoughts, our will (power of decision) and our emotions. But until we invite the Holy Spirit in, He remains respectfully out. He is always completely respectful of our free will. Inviting Him in is what the Bible, in Acts and in a few of the gospels, speaks of as the baptism of the Spirit, or of fire.
When the Holy Spirit is sitting at your kitchen table, or helping you clean up your bedroom and scrub your toilet you get first hand experience of Who He is and how He works. I’ve heard it said that it is like the difference between dating and marriage. Or the difference between carrying around a cup of coffee and drinking the coffee (or Spark, for you Advocare buffs) so that the caffeine is in your system, rather than in your cup.
For me, inviting the Holy Spirit deeper into my life, inviting Him to dwell in my thoughts, my will and my emotions, has made the difference between life in black and white and life in full color. It has been the difference in striving to practice the fruits of the Spirit, and relaxing into the fruits of the Spirit simply flowing from my life. Scripture has come to life. I get why it is so exciting to be saved, set free, forgiven – and I finally understand what the peace that passes understanding is, and the joy that flows from it.
It is the difference between working in your yard, playing, gardening, waving at the neighbors, grilling, etc., and living daily life within your home. Inviting the Holy Spirit inside, accepting the gift of His baptism (which is different and secondary to water baptism, Matt. 3:11, Acts 11:15-17, Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5, 2:1-6, 8:14-19, 9:17-19, 10:44-48 and Acts 19:1-6), is the best decision I have ever made.
And it is something that is hard to describe until you experience it for yourself. It takes the work out of producing the fruit of the Spirit – I recall verse as I need them, without even having necessarily memorized them and there isn’t anymore striving to be patient or kind – I find that my love for those around me is deepened and increased with my more full awareness of God’s love for me, and patience simply flows from this.
That is another thing, I experience the love God has for me at a much deeper level. He literally feels closer. I don’t have to set aside time to meet with Him to gain perspective or insight or understanding – He is working in and through me constantly – with my knowledge! I set aside time now because I long to just sit in His presence alone, the intimacy is real and amazing. And, I don’t have to work at attaining it. I understand what it means to be accepted exactly as I am. No rules, hoops, theories, scheduling, or theology to wade through. Just me and my God, who loves me. It is life off the hook, organic and mysterious yet remarkably simple.
Accepting the gift of baptism of the Spirit is accepting complete freedom in Christ. Not just the knowledge of freedom, but full submersion in that freedom! It is power and authority and simply doing what I hear and see the Spirit doing. All striving gone.
It is the ability to discern what name to call the enemy when he attacks me or my family, to bind him and send him away in the name of Jesus. It is the ability to discern the lightening of the air around us, and to feel the difference. It is the ability to know what needs to be bound, and what needs to be loosed to help others attain their freedom in christ. It is being given new eyes, ears and senses.
And this gift is what has made walking in my new found freedom so wonderfully possible to maintain and enjoy. Not just the assurance of my salvation, but the experience of the power of being set free.