Friday, October 28, 2011

(day seventy-eight) He knows YOUR name.

I know it's been a good chunk of time since I've written in this blog, and i've deeply missed it and you. If you've had a chance to read my update recently you may have seen a little bit about what God is doing in my life here in this country of New Zealand. With this blog I plan to go even deeper into what He's been doing in my heart. My prayer is that you continue to find it encouraging and challenging at the same time. I must warn you because it's not always a lovely journey (most of the time quite painful)... but what I'm finding is that it's always a beautiful outcome if I hand over control to Him and patiently wait for His purpose in it all while clinging to His cloak in complete and utter dependency.

It often seems that when I leave my comforts and securities of home is when my real desperate needs begin to arise. At home I tend to cling to those things I can rely on like trusty friends, family, and other things that will temporarily fulfill the need or disguise the discomfort. I suppose we all have needs at a deeper level that we are unaware of until certain circumstances expose them... and when it happens, it's not a pretty site. But now i'm discovering that it's a perfect opportunity to find an intimacy with the Father that might otherwise be missed. He loves us SO much and desires for us to go on that journey with Him; but very few will find the time, energy, courage, or strength to walk down that road. Why? Because it requires much and proves little to the world. The only reward (that is of any true eternal value) is the one that's found in that quiet place of intimacy with the source of all Life. Out of this place is where all good things will flow.

The reason this is such an important topic for me this week is because it's been something I'm seeking and honestly struggling with because of the daily sacrifice it requires of us. Another reason is probably because the speaker on the school this week was Dalton Lifsey from the Tauranga House of Prayer in the north island of New Zealand. Dalton carries the message and annointing of intimacy with the Father wherever He goes. Something they do in the prayer house, which we also practiced here, is sit in a time of "Adoration" every morning for 2 hours in silence and meditation before the Lord praising and adoring Him for who He is. They read, write and reflect over His goodness spending quality time in His presense. It is a beautiful time of quieting your earthly mind and directing all good things to Him... especially the ones we can't fathom or understand.

During this time Dalton started singing a song that gripped my heart, and i want to share the chorus with you:
For my shame you give me romance,
and for my dirt you give me a wedding dance.
For my rags you give me riches,
and for my scars you give me kisses.
For my filth you give me treasure,
and for my pain you give me pleasure....
for me you give me YOU, for me you give me YOU.

This song reminds me that even when we give the Father our crap... He gives us something beautiful to replace it. What if then we turn back to Him and lift up the beautiful things too? What if we also blessed Him with words of adoration and praise... in addition to the things we don't want in our life? Certain things should be easy to let go of and for some reason are still hard because it's all we know. What if those things that hurt us and stand in the way of that intimacy became easy to release... and we moved on to letting go of things we truly adored? Including His promises. We need to trust that He is who He says He is ALL of the time. He is good ALL of the time... whatever the circumstances we have the choice to push through to see His goodness. That is our earthly disposition. Jesus was a perfect example of this. So why do we settle for anything less?

Something a friend of mine said a few weeks ago at the YWAM family gathering has really stuck with me. He said, "Jesus didn't die so we could have a relationship with the Father, he died so we could have HIS relationship with the Father." No matter how deep my lonliness and insecurities seem at times, His design is to take us deeper and deeper into His heart for us. And when we allow Him to do that we find something so extremely valuable that causes us to cling onto Him even more. Jesus represented this so well. He never needed recognition for himself, only pointed to the Father. He also trusted Him when things got a little (or a lot) sticky. The closer in proximity I walk towards Him the more these deep needs are exposed so that He can fulfill them; because no one else on earth can possibly reach the core of our being other than the one who knows His way around in there. So many times i've settled for being an aquaintance of God (like a lot of our FB friends... ) rather than moving into this intimate relationship I know He desires and I know our soul deeply longs for (whether we are fully aware of it or not).

I'm painfully being shown through this process that, in the past, i've placed way too much value on the recognition of others in what I do rather than knowing God, being recognized by Him, and caring what He thinks about me. Earthly titles, roles, and positions are always overshadowed by the heavenly purpose we find in Him as we discover our role as a son/daughter who is loved to the nth degree. Nothing, nothing, NOT A SINGLE THING on earth can possibly even come close to replacing this.

Today, I sit here alone in the back yard (in a completely different hemisphere) writing to you. Everyone else on our base is off celebrating a wedding, spending time at a conference, or visiting a beautiful south island town. My options are: I could sit in misery reflecting on the fact that i'm alone, possibly forgotten by human friends, and quite possibly being thought of by no one else on earth at this moment. But all of this would only lead me to the place of apathy which will impair the way I see and treat the world. On the other hand... I could sit alone... KNOWING that God has not forgotten me, rejected me, or abandoned me. HE KNOWS MY NAME. He knows YOUR name. He cares about every single little thought that's going on in your head and every broken place in your heart. Most of the time the others have not forgotten you either... we are just believing lies... but more importantly He wants to take us to that place of complete dependency on Him. When He does, no matter what circumstances we may find ourselves in on earth, we will be able to stand confident in our identity as His child and be able to minister and love on others from this place of freedom so they too might know Him.

B90: (John 16:5- Acts 6:15) I was just re-reading Chapter 17 of John titled "the high priestly prayer" in my bible. This is a chapter I think that I could read over and over and only truly comprehend a very small percentage of it's worth. Take some time if your'e able to sit and meditate on these words of Jesus to the Father reflecting the deepest parts of God's heart for the world.

Jesus speaking to Father, "But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sandtified in truth." Ch.17: 13-19 "I made known your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them." vs 26.

Wow... even if you just read this part I realize just how much other meaningless stuff in this world can consume my time compared to the rich heritage we have in the Father through the Son and our continued purpose in this world to know Him and make Him known. More than anyone else on this earth Jesus had "rights of recognition" and didn't even use them. Why? Because He was not called to make himself known... but he was born, lived, died and rose again to make God known. And again, he would not die just so we could have a pretty good relationship with God... but so we could have HIS relationship with Him... "the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them." How amazing is that? Are you guys getting what I'm getting here? Sometimes I still can't believe that the divine, holy, righteous, and ever-lasting God of the universe and beyond actually wants to connect with us on a relational level (and while we are fallen humans!!!) I guess God could've told us to believe in Him, follow all the rules and He'll have a relationship with us when we get to heaven..... but he didn't! He sent His son to not only show us how but to make a way for it. He desires it now and forever more. Woweeee that's cool.

And I'll never stop loving this passage, just can't read it enough. What would happen if we really really really did live like this? This would be something great to really meditate on this week :)

The fellowship of the believers: "And they devoted themselves to the apostles; teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And AWE came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. and all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and disributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. and day by day, attending the temmple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved." Acts 2: 42-47

Health and Wellness: I know I haven't talked about this a lot lately but it's still very much a part of the "wholeness" mindset that I think is foundational in our walk. If we want to truly experience the fullness of God in us...then it's simple, the less of us = more of Him. The more we allow Him to "detox" us mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally... the more room their is for Him to nourish every area. We've been looking more into that while i've been here on this YWAM base in New Zealand. What does this look like for people across the globe in the poorest of situations to the first world. And the more I search the word, my own heart and ask others for wisdom... i find that He wants freedom and healing for every part of everyone. This happens when the Holy Spirit comes in and sets us free by the power of God. We also need to be realize that the enemy will try and cheat His way into you whether it's through negative messages in the media, dark movies, bad music, toxic food, supressed emotions, mental blocks, lies we've believed... etc etc etc. Being aware of this (but not obsessing over them) and letting God do His work to purify and wash over us so He can consume!!! I'm always learning so if you have any insight, wisdom, encouragment, or schooling in these areas PLEASE pass it on. God is for us!!! Love you all :)

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