I sat down to write ….. 490 words later, I had a page full of ideas and concepts but no main theme. I feel like I have so much to share right now! Heart explosion!!!!!!!! This is great…but Jesus, help me to make it concise!
These past few weeks have been great. Honestly! They really have been! 🙂
They’ve been great, because I’ve been soaking in Truth.
————– SOAKING IN TRUTH ————–
Sometimes when I sit in still water (a hot tub, for example) I get prune-like after a while. I get restless and I want to get out and my body can’t handle the temperature or the stillness. If I’m moving around in a River, though, the outcome is different. I could stay in a River all day!
I feel like the Lord is having me go deep into His waters of Revelation. It’s not a lake, it’s not a hot tub, and it’s not a pond. It’s a river. There is revelation flowing TO me from the Lord, but it also must come FROM me! A river doesn’t just flow and then all of a sudden stop. It goes somewhere! I don’t want rivers of living water to be stagnant within me. I want them to flow out of me! Jesus said that as a Believer, I am to be overflowing with life!
37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.38 Whoever believes in me, as fthe Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
If I am drinking, the water has got to go somewhere. You can’t just drink and drink and drink and never release it. What comes in must come out (otherwise, we have major problems). This is as much a physical reality as it is a spiritual reality. What comes in me (Truth) must come out (Truth). What comes in me (water) must come out (water).
If I am drinking from the Lord, then good things like life and joy and love and peace and patience and kindness will be released out of me. If I am drinking from the Lord, then obviously, rivers of LIVING water will flow from me! I love this! This means that the things that are LIVING and LIFE-GIVING from the Lord will flow from me. This means that I am bearing much fruit (John 15) and that the fruits of the Holy Spirit are growing out of me! (Galatians 5). This means I am like a tree, bearing fruit in and out of season! (Psalm 1)
The Lord gives each of us the option and the choice to be fruitful. We all have the opportunity to choose to be life giving. I honestly think that everyone would like to be life giving and lovely. Nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks, “I want to be a grouch who bears no good fruit!” Haha! If people do think like that, I do not believe that it is the Lord’s will. Haha! If this is our thinking, we just need to retrain our brains to listen to the Gospel of Jesus in order that we can bear good fruit! Holy Spirit loves to make us fruitful! 🙂
If we want the fruits of the Holy Spirit to grow out of us (love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience, and self-control) then we can learn to feast on Jesus! It’s fun!! We can learn to “drink in” Jesus’ good stuff (love, joy, peace, ect.) and not “drink in” the bad stuff (fear, offense, anxiety, ect.).
I feel the Lord is giving me more and more strategy on how to drink straight from the Lord’s good wine (John 2 analogy) and how to remain feasting at the table with the Lord and never get down from that high seat He’s given me right next to Him (Ephesians 2:6). I feel like the Lord is giving me strategy on how to take care of my heart and guard it with all vigilance.
KEEP YOUR HEART WITH ALL VIGILANCE, FOR FROM IT FLOW THE SPRINGS OF LIFE.
Jesus told me to take care of my heart “with all vigilance”. To me, to guard “with all vigilance” is what it looks like for the youngest child in a large family to guard his chocolate chip cookie at dinner time when his brothers and sisters have all scarfed down their plates and are wanting to eat his share. To keep something “with all vigilance” is what I think of when you’re in a rousing life and death game of Capture the Flag at summer camp and your counselor runs off into the woods, hands you the flag and says “guard this with your life!” “Keep this with all vigilance!” Why? Because it’s important! It’s what will win the game! Our hearts are important to the Lord! Keeping our hearts with all vigilance toward the Lord is what wins! It’s just a choice to keep our hearts directed to the Lord over and over and over again.
The more I think about it, the more this Capture the Flag analogy represents this scene well. (Props to camp counselors all over the world – shout out! Camp is the best! …and of course you all think your camp is the best in the world … as it should be!) 🙂
(“Siciliy!” ….Golden Girls Quote anyone?)
But honestly….Picture it!
Illumination comes from only the glorious radiance of the stars … and from that annoying nurse’s station light that was left on from that one kid who needs a band-aid for every mosquito bite they get.
The night breeze is the only thing moving in the still darkness around you. Slowly and surely, step…. by step…. by step… you creep toward the forest, wondering where in the world the rest of your team is. You didn’t mean to be isolated, but somehow you got scattered from your team amidst the “ok, ready, 1-2-3 go!!!!” tactic your team originally planned. You were to all bust into the enemy’s camp to heroically steal their tattered blue flag, which, to you, is a world of wondrous victory in which you would be deemed “thee coolest kid at camp” because you stole the flag. Now, to your disappointment and slight concern, you have no idea where you are and can only see a hand length in front of you and Oooops! – almost ran into a tree. ….This. Does. Not. Feel. Heroic.
You feel a light tap on your back and out of the corner of your eye see a red, tattered flag tied to an arm crouching along the ground. Who? What in the world??? You look down, waiting for your eyes to adjust, hoping it’s not a ravenous bunny…. only to find it’s none but your counselor! And she has the flag! Without any explanation, she gives it to you, saying, “Guard this with your life!” and courageously runs into the woods with you thinking, “What in the world am I supposed to do now?”
Haha! Ouch! Painful promotion! I feel like this is such a perfect analogy. This is the Lord.
He picks the funniest and most unqualified people to be His “heroic ones”.
Moses…a stuttering scaredy-cat, David…a young, shepherd boy who grows up to betray a loyal warrior by having sex with his wife and then killing the guy, Peter… a zealous disciple who cuts off people’s ears when he gets mad, and Saul… a religious guru who kills Christians.
The Lord picks people who we (humans) would probably not pick. I know we Americans love to see the under dog win (Cubs fan anyone?), but if it’s a life and death situation and not just a baseball game to consume beer and hot dogs, we’d probably choose the most suitable team to win.
Not the Lord! He chooses the ones who will say yes after He qualifies them! Haha! Hilarious! I think He does this in order that we know it’s the Lord. All that to say, if you feel unqualified, the Lord will qualify you, you only need to say yes to Him, and it’s not a new concept or a big deal. You’re chosen. You’ll be promoted. Agree with it. As the Lord picks us to be on His team and to feast at His table, He reminds us of the Truth.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
Jesus came to give us abundant life. He didn’t come JUST to bring us life. He came to bring us ABUNDANT life. This means that it’s constant and consistent and flowing and lasts forever and that we are replenished over and over and over again. Being filled with God’s Truth isn’t a one time thing. It’s something that is reoccurring. If you are a Believer, you are to be OVERFLOWING. This is not a condemning word; this is an encouraging word! There’s MORE for you! There’s more for me! We were made to receive abundant life! WOOOOHOOOOO!!!!! Drink deep, friends! 🙂 There’s more! There’s always more!
Maybe our question is, “How do we drink deep?” What if we don’t know how to feast on the Lord? That is something I feel the Lord is giving me language to describe. Here I will answer it briefly, making a list of things that have personally encouraged me to drink deep from the Lord.
1. Read the Bible
2. Worship Jesus in a way that makes sense to you (on your knees, in a swimming pool, with music, without music, in your car, through painting, through whistling…you get the point. For freedom you were set free. Worship Jesus FREEEEEEEEEEEELY, friends!)
3. Ask the Lord questions. A lot of them. And then don’t forget to listen. Even if it’s 5 minutes of sitting quietly and not hearing anything. Eventually we’ll hear Him. (His sheep hear His voice – John 10).
4. Hang out with other Believers! It’s fun! And it’s beneficial to us!
5. Ask other Believers things – about how they engage their heart, about what the Lord has been telling them, about what they’re learning, why they love Jesus, and so on.
6. Go on adventures with the Lord! Ask Him where He wants to take you or what He wants to do and then go do that!
7. Have fun! Loving Jesus does not have to be serious all the time. Somberness is NOT a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Enjoy Jesus! You were made to delight in Him!
8. DAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNCCCCCEEEEE PAAAAARTTAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!!!!
Seriously…dance your face off. It’s so incredibly freeing!
9. Fast. It’s not necessarily the most fun thing ever, but it’s Biblical and the Lord tell us to fast. We fast out of love for Him and out of longing for His return. Matthew 9:14-17, Mark 2:18-22
10. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray with others. Pray by yourselves. Pray in your prayer closets. Pray in your car. Engage your heart with the Lord. Speak with the Lord. He loves to hear your voice! Psalm 116:1-2
That list is just a brief list of how to engage with the Lord, but with this river of revelation flowing, I will keep spitting out things at you guys as the Lord is constantly filling and overflowing me!
I’m praying for overflowing for all of you guys and bless you guys in the name of Jesus! He loves you all soooooooooo much! You’re loved, Beloved! Go in peace!