What Has Your Attention?

When I am tempted to get down and head towards depression, I now tend to get this really cool check in my spirit.  I believe it is the Lord speaking to me, asking, “What are you looking at? Where is your focus right now?”

Of the multitude of things one could be focused on in such moments, it is a sure bet that the focus is not on God and resting in His presence or Jesus’ finished work.

On Facebook, Rob Coscia said something very poignant, If you’re living in fear of people, circumstances and the future, you haven’t been listening to what God says about them.” Rob also noted 3 verses of Scripture:  Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” ( Matthew 11:28)  God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) Lastly, he mentioned 1 John 4:18a Perfect love displaces all fear. I add to this short list, Jeremiah 29:11 in which the Lord states, “For I know the thoughts I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  This verse is very familiar to most but we need to realize that we can actually ask Him what those thoughts and plans are and get a reply.  He is eager to speak to and be in relationship with His people, it’s the whole reason we were created. He wanted a family.  He wanted you.

I have been thinking about this a bit and why it is that Christians allow themselves to sink as deeply as anyone else who doesn’t know God. One thought that came up was that perhaps we don’t all truly value or understand the value of prayer and being aware of and intentionally focusing on His presence.

It isn’t easy to be in His presence and still feel sorry for oneself.  I don’t know that it is even possible to shift one’s thinking and focus, be engulfed in Him, and still be depressed.

I think, all too often people feel they have to be doing something to fix their problems.  They have to help God, after all, a lot of Christians believe that “God helps those who help themselves”.  The faulty part of this is that if we could fix all of our problems ourselves, what did Jesus die for?  Why do we need a Savior?  What do we need God for at all if we can do it all ourselves?  Now, I’m not saying just sit around and wait for everyone else to do for you or expect things to just fall into your lap.  There’s most certainly a time and place for doing things, but not to the complete dismissal of prayer and just basking in His presence.

Psalms 16:11 (NKJV) says, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your hand are pleasures forevermore.”  Do we really believe that when we allow what we see and experience to overthrow what the Word of God says?  Jesus said his yoke is easy and his burden is light but do we really believe that when life presents us with an opportunity to take on a burden that God never intended us to bare?

A game changer for me has been this consistent and constant (and simple) awareness that I carry the fullness of the Godhead in me and with me 24/7 (John1:16). Because of this, I can engage with Him at any time.  What a wonderful reality!!!

I am one who can take empathy to heights and depths unknown, and last week, I started to really feel down as I witnessed so much pain around me.  I felt myself sinking deeper and deeper, praying and crying.  Eventually, I realized, I need to let it go because it was affecting me more than just a little.  I knew that in my own strength, I couldn’t handle it so I sat still and told the Lord that I didn’t want to keep feeling so awful.  I’d prayed in faith and believe wholeheartedly that He has already provided healing for the hearts, bodies and minds of all that I prayed for, but I didn’t have to stay there. I could have my joy restored and keep it.  So, I focused on Him and just worshiped Him and soon, everything changed. Now when I think of the people I am praying for, I simply thank God for their healing and move on with my own joy intact as I know I have constant access to rivers of living waters flowing inside of me.

I love how, when I decide to trust God and don’t try to have a back up plan to fix things myself in my own strength, it leaves room for Him to do some crazy, creative and mighty things in my life.  I have seen it so much in the last few years that for me, there is no other way.  It’s live by faith, the end.  If He said it in His Word, I have settled it in my heart to trust and believe it no matter what I see in front of me.  Just as Psalms 121 starts out, “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains.  Where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth…”  So, my question to you is, what are you looking at?  Where is your focus planted?  If it isn’t on Him, no worries, make that shift, focus on Him.  Allow Him to love you through rough times and fill you with that peace that surpasses all understanding.  Joy unspeakable is yours for the taking. Get what’s yours and keep it!

 

 

Who Do You Trust?

I have so much swirling in my head.  There are so many things I am grateful for, that when I dwell on them, I’m about ready to burst with joy. I feel like I’m enjoying something kind of forbidden, by the world’s standards anyway.  I remember this old saying that goes something like, “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.”  I admit that I’ve heard that a few times in my life.  I’ve even been accused of not taking things in life seriously enough, as if worrying actually helps and is productive.  Here’s what Colossians 3:2 says, Think about the things of Heaven, not the things of earth. See, God has something different to say about our earthly “wisdom”, 1 Cor. 3:19 says the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.  In Philippians 4:8, it says that we should fix our minds on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. It says to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

The question becomes, who are you going to trust, believe and go with?  I choose God, hands down.  Considering my problems and things gone wrong in my life or in the world at large, just doesn’t do it for me.  I love that I can go to the Problem Solver, the One who is never without strategies, answers and options for me to consider and walk out.  I’m excited beyond measure to even have some of the “problems” I now have as I can’t wait to see what my Abba will do with them as I literally rest and trust in Him.

When my daughter and I revamped our herbal business, we prayed. One verse that is at the heart of how we have decided to move forward with our business is Romans 13:8- Owe nothing to anyone-except for your obligation to love one another.  So, no debt.  Not a penny. The “wisdom” of this world says, “it takes money to make money” and most businesses start with a loan of some sort in order to get going.  Since we see otherwise in the Word, and know real life examples of people who have chosen God’s way, we decided to do the same and it has been amazing.

We have a few small monthly expenses with our company. One night as I was going to bed, I remembered that our account balance was dangerously low and bills would be coming out soon.  As I lay in bed, I said, “Ok, Abba, the account is low and we have no orders.  You know what we need so I thank you for taking care of it. I’m going to sleep.” The next day we got an order from a stranger and two family members.  Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Ha!! As I read what I just typed, I realize I straight up Philippians 4:6-7thd that “problem”.  (I know there is no 7thd, lol.)  I chose to not worry, I didn’t even start screaming to the masses, “Discount! Sale!”. I simply talked to my Abba about it, thanked Him in advance for working it out, and you can’t tell me I didn’t have peace, I went straight to sleep, haha!!

I love that we truly do have options when it comes to where we put our faith/trust.  I have practiced worrying and it was never fun.  In fact, every time an issue was worked out, it felt a bit silly to have worried so much to begin with.  After all, every single issue I have been faced with, has been taken care of, one way or another.  My odds are amazing, as 100% of what I’ve faced that made me think I’d just die, I lived right on through in the end.

So while I watch some of my friends on Facebook, posting in desperation about how they are so freaked out about our upcoming election, I’m smiling and thanking God for giving me insight on who He has ordained to be in office.  I’ve decided to go with that and rest.  Some of my friends have seemed to become straight toddlers, posting their, “Just unfriend me if you’re voting for X!” or “Anyone voting for X, explain why!”as if it is their business.  These dear ones, I am praying for.  I see past the childish behavior and see that they are worried and in fear of what may or may not happen a few whole weeks from now.  What a way to live.  My prayer is that every believer learns to truly trust in the Lord with all their heart.  He is faithful and so very trustworthy.  He has proven it time and time again.  We must believe Him.

Heaven’s Invasion

I deleted the post that I published yesterday.  I started that post a few days before but around 4am.  I couldn’t sleep, so I ended up erasing it all and writing something different, and publishing it from my phone.  The problem is, what you received was the incomplete first draft that I thought I’d erased. So here goes round two. 🙂

When I’d moved to NJ from DC, I was a staunch word of faith girl.  You couldn’t tell me anything. My goal was to pretty much find my church in DC, here in NJ, and live happily ever after.  Of course, that’s not at all how things went.  Over around 7 years or so, we went up and down NJ and NY, visiting churches.  Some, we stayed at for months, others, weeks and some, we visited once.  Although I didn’t realize I was prophetic, I knew God always told me definitively what church I was to join as a member.  He said nothing as we visited these churches, but I tried to make a few of the churches work.  Eventually, I saw how silly it all was and just gave up.  We stayed home and worshiped and studied the Bible and attended whatever church related events we were invited to.  We were believers without a home base.  At first I was upset about it but after a while, I began to hear from God more regularly, for myself.

I began to realize that I didn’t need someone to tell me what God was saying for me, I could hear from Him myself.  As I read the Bible, things that I had seen so many times before, jumped off the pages at me as something totally new and different.  It was amazing.

Then, I began to miss what I had growing up in church, community.  I felt confident that I could hear from God for myself and others, still not realizing that was prophecy, lol, but I missed people.  I love people.  So, after visiting The Holy Land experience in Orlando, FL, I began to ask God for the community I longed for.

Here’s the thing, God is a total show off.  To say that He gave me more than I bargained for is a gross understatement.  In this moment, I have to chuckle and admit, that He never did give me the church I wanted.  He did so much more.  He gave me Heaven’s Invasion. Heaven’s Invasion is nothing like any church I have ever seen or heard about, other than the first century one in the Bible.  In fact, it isn’t a church. It’s not a business at all.  It’s a regional gathering of believers.  It’s a place where Holy Spirit is Boss.  Where our pastor who we simply call Russ, is famous for saying that he isn’t in charge and asks, “What’s God saying?”

The mic is always open, it is never policed, and because we can all hear from God, people coming up to share what they see, hear, or sense, is a regular occurrence.  There are flags and dancing. The worship is literally intoxicating.  Angelic visitations as well as our resident angels fill the place every Sunday.  Prophecy and healing and miracles flow freely there.  In fact, when you come for the first time, you are bombarded with prophetic words from God that leave you feeling so loved and important to us and to God, because the truth is, you are.

Heaven’s Invasion is a very different place.  Firstly, we meet Sunday nights at 6pm.  Then, instead of starting with praise and worship, we start with the preaching/teaching, saving the best part for last.  No two Sundays are ever the same there.  One of my favorite things is that although we are a group of prophets, evangelists, teachers, pastors and apostles, you won’t hear anyone putting their function in front of their name.  It just doesn’t matter.  Everyone understands that those offices are simply functions.  Just as my husband doesn’t go by Air Traffic Controller Jermaine, there is an understanding that you simply do the job, there is no need for a title.  Jesus never stressed the importance of titles.  Because everyone is shedding old mindsets that are a result of the orphan spirit, we all agree that our favorite title/position is that of sons and daughters.  That is what Jesus modeled.

The best part of Heaven’s Invasion though, is the love.  My friend said, “Heaven’s Invasion is not a church, it is a family.”  She also said that she and her husband were really impacted by the obvious love that abounds there.  This is a place where there are no cliques, no hierarchy, no made up “office of the elder” (I mentioned the five fold offices above, better yet, see Ephesians 4:11), it’s just sons and daughters coming together and man… It is beautiful. I have never been to a place like this before.  Never imagined it could exist, but it does. We all chat daily, we go out to eat together, this weekend, there was even a sleepover! Together, we are doing what Jesus did and called us to do.  Just today, we received a video message from a guy who had Leukemia.  We have prayed with and for him, some of us visited him in the hospital.  We commanded sickness to leave his body and today, he sent us a video saying that the doctors can find no cancer in his blood any longer. Hallelujah!!!

I am so overjoyed to be a part of this family.  The people here are truly my family in every sense of the word.  My prayer is that more gatherings that truly exemplify the heart and nature of Jesus become more popular than the more common modern day pharisee movement we see happening.  I would love to see the places that hold such great significance in seating arrangements, costumes, titles and degrees, fade away.  I would love to see the bride of Christ arise, shed this orphan spirit that permeates so many facets of the Church, and be content with being sons and daughters, knowing that this is the best position ever and is without a doubt, more than enough.