Learning to let Him lead

“Beloved, Come.  I am extending My hand to you.  Will you let Me lead you in this dance?” 

Proverbs 3:3-6 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight

Graceful was not a word I’d have used to describe myself.   In fact, I had visions of me in an adult body but about the size of a large bug.   I was running all over the floor trying to dodge everyone’s shoes.    “Watch out for me!”  I’d shout up there, but nobody would hear me.    Nobody listened and nobody saw.

Well, that’s what it all felt like.

Around 1989, the Lord came to me while I was in prayer.  He told me of a story about a mother with several children she locked up in a room for years.   She would keep them locked in the room because they “told on her” or “embarrassed her” in front of others.   She did this for a few years, only opening the door a crack at a time on occasion, and when she was by herself, and they would peep their head out for a short while and then the door would get closed when they started to whine.

As long as they would peep out of the room and be quiet, she would open the door a crack again.

The Lord asked me “What do you say about such a mother?”

And I responded that this woman needed professional help.  These children needed to be free, and needed room to grow and most importantly they needed to be loved and nurtured and cared for.

But then the Lord showed me that the children, as they grew inside the locked room, would become angry and destructive.   They even found ways to open the window a bit and let in strangers from the outside into their room who would defile the room even further.

Soon, there was so much commotion coming from the room, the mother could no longer conceal her children from her friends.   She plotted to suffocate them.

I said “Lord, this woman is a danger!  She needs deliverance.  She definitely has a mental imbalance, may even be possessed.”

The Lord said to me “The woman is you.”

I didnt understand.    But I was listening.
He went onto say the room was my heart. The children were my emotions and the product of what I had done to them over the years.

Fear…   hurt….  bitterness…..guilt….shame….indifference….sorrow…..anger…..impatience…frustration…

I locked them away inside the room of my heart and squashed them down because they were too loud and told on me.   They embarrassed me.    They caused me to lose friends.    They ridiculed me and mocked me.

But the Lord said that I was to begin to let them out and give them to Him.  To entrust them into His Fatherly care

I asked “How do I do that?”   He said “slowly and one at a time.  They don’t know Me yet, and building relationships are not hurried.”

So I began to let Fear out, a little at a time.   I saw that over time, His response to my Fear, was that of faithfulness.  In my unfaithfulness, He was still faithful.  In unpredictability, I could trust Him to do as He said He would do.  He was Faithful.   Fear’s name would change to “Assurance.”

And then Anger stuck his neck out.    As I gave Anger over to Him, slowly, The Lord’s responses to Anger were different than anything I’d known or understood.   His response to my little Anger was that of gentleness and kindness.  It was cool, and peaceful, not hot and unsettled.   Anger’s name eventually was changed to Peace.

Bitterness became Sweet as the Lord would become manifested by the sweetness of His Word to me.  He would show me my sins and yet in my sins, He drizzled them with honey from His Word of Forgiveness.

Guilt became Freedom.   The Lord’s response to Guilt, whenever I would sense Guilt rising up to have his way and overwhelm me with incredible burden, was the truth behind the Cross.   When Guilt was younger, he loved to sit upon my shoulders and cover my eyes, while pressing himself down upon my head.  As he got bigger and stronger, (and heavier) I could no longer carry him yet he expected me to.   Guilt was too heavy of a yoke.  I could not carry him.   But Jesus said to me Take upon yourself My Yoke.  For my burden is easy and my yoke is light.”

Shame became Honor.   Shame was only as big as the door I hid it behind.  When shame was allowed to come out, and Jesus responded, Shame was no longer met with disapproval and disgust and religious responses.   Shame was treated with honor.   Not because Shame DESERVED honor mind you.  No, Shame had really done some pretty intense, ugly things.   But instead, SHAME did not get what it was accustomed to getting, nor did it receive the response it deserved.   Shame received the response of honor and over time, Shame began to walk in that honor, with head held high and face forward, not in pride but in humility.   Shame could never be humble while it was still Shame.  Shames’ name had to change.

Indifference became Passion.   “Whatever!” That was about all you would hear from the mouth of Indifference.    His nickname was Luke (short for lukewarm) but Indifference was the name given at its birth.   Indifference was the easiest one to deal with, I think because he was so mellow and easy going, except for when a response was required.   Indifference and Anger were very close to each other.  I’d say that of all my little emotions, those two were very close to each other.   Indifference caused me very little concern because he kept mostly to himself.  Isolated.   Except for when he and Anger got together.  Seemed like the more they got together, the quieter Indifference became.   But he knew so much about Anger and wasn’t talking.   As Indifference would emerge, the Lord greeted him with Passion.   Not Anger’s type of Passion but a Passion that ignited flames of motivation.   Indifference would become a world changer.   Indifference found a mission and a vision and a purpose.   Indifference became Passion.

Sorrow became Joy.   Sorrow was very very depressed.  Wounded.  Whenever sorrow appeared, my whole body felt bruised, beat up.  I could not bear sorrow but I didn’t have the strength to shove her back in the room so I would build up my strength with food.  It seemed sugar (and most carbohydrates) helped me to get stronger so I could push her back into her room. I needed joy and LOTS of carbohydrates provided that boost of joy I needed.  After all, joy is strength right?    But Jesus said there was a better way.  When Sorrow emerged, I could allow myself to feel what she felt, only for a little bit.   Never NEVER allow Sorrow to come out without the Presence of Love and Joy.    When I began to feel bruised all over, I allowed myself to feel what she felt, while the Lord infused HIS Joy which became MY strength to bear her and present her to Him.  She was such a little frail thing, with bruises.   Sometimes, all I could do was cry “Daddy!!!! I’m hurting.   Please please stroke my hair!”   Love is gentle when He strokes the hair.   Eventually Sorrow became Joy and united with His Joy which became my strength.

Hurt became Mercy.    Hurt was different than Sorrow.  While Sorrow was very deeply bruised, Hurt’s pain was more superficial.  Hurt seemed to look out for Sorrow and divert attention from attack in order to protect Sorrow. It was like this is what Hurt felt he was supposed to do.  Defend.   I let Hurt out of the room more often than the others because he wasn’t going to let anyone do harm to the others.  In fact, it seemed that whenever Hurt emerged, others around became full of care and concern.   He just had that effect on people.   He was in a way, a safety net.   The problem was that Hurt’s judgments were not right and he saw nearly everyone as possible attackers.   He was ready to defend when there was no need to.  Jesus changed the response that Hurt had come to know and instead of requiring the enabling care giving of others around him,  he began to require mercy and that meant that bandages needed to be applied ONLY WHEN THERE WAS A REAL WOUND.   Hurt would become Mercy when Hurt stopped looking for care-giving in order to thwart off possible attacks, but was available to apply care-giving and receive true care-giving where needed.

Impatience became Patience.  Always had to have it NOW!.  She often threw temper tantrums and then demanded her brother Fear join in.  She usually needed others to join in with her, just to make her point when she didn’t get her way.  She was way out of control.   As she slowly would emerge Jesus gave her a different response as He would not answer except with scriptures about waiting but it was not the ones most would expect.  Isaiah 30:18 – He LONGS to wait for us.   Whenever Impatience emerged, the Lord would say with compassion “Come wait with me, we will do this together.”   His Presence brought the stillness.  His Presence alone, brought the power to wait.  To be still.   Waiting with Jesus became easier when Impatience felt comfortable just sitting alone with Him.  Impatience would become Patience.

Frustration became Rest.   Once Impatience became Patience, it was not hard for Frustration to follow.  Frustration was usually in as much agreement with Impatience as Indifference was to Anger.   Frustration would easily become Rest when Impatience became Patience.

The Lord wants us not to keep anything back from Him.  He takes all our “children” that we keep separated and locked up and held as captives and he frees them, changes their disposition by showing them a different response then they have ever seen, and gives them a new name.

Once these emotions lined up with His Word to them, it was easy for the Fruit of His Spirit to be made manifest in my life because Holy Spirit was right at home.

The Early Riser Becomes a House of God

Genesis 28:18,19 And Jacob rose early in the morning and took the stone he had put under his head, and he set it up for a pillar (a monument to the vision in his dream), and he poured oil on its top [in dedication]. And he named that place Bethel [the house of God]; but the name of that city was Luz at first.

I am always amazed at God. I arose early this morning to study. I don’t know how I ended up here in Genesis except it was He. I came in search of oil and opened to the first mention of oil in scripture. Genesis 28 tells of Jacob as he was called by the Lord to go out, to take himself away from his mother and father, and to become a people. As I read, and paused at this verse, I felt to look up the word “Luz.”

Luz is from the Arabic and means Almond Tree, or Early Riser. The almond tree is in bloom about late February, the first of all the trees to bloom. So here, Jacob was called to a place he named, Bethel, or the house of God, which was originally named Luz – The Almond Tree, or The Early Riser.

There are a variety of almond trees. The bitter almond was used for its oil, but the almond itself from young trees was sweet and used for desserts. Jacob most probably took the oil from the bitter almond and poured it over the top of the monument he set up.

The Almond Tree was also called “Firstfruit” because of its early rising or first awakening.

Jacob arose early, and found himself in the city of “Early Riser” only to rename it “House of God” when he encountered the Lord. The first thing he does is to pour the bitter part as a dedication and memorial in honor of the House of God.

He offers the bitter as firstfruit.

Genesis 28:16 And Jacob awoke from his sleep and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it.

Christ Himself was a firstfruit offering. The bitter firstfruit offering of the Cross in dedication of what is to come. A Dwelling Place for the Lord.

The bitter comes first, and then the sweet.

And so too, our journey with Him. We give Him our bitter parts and it is as oil poured upon the place He dwells. Each day is as oil poured upon Him and becomes a sacred place of meeting (and we don’t even know it, as Jacob did not even know it).

Genesis 28: 22 And this stone which I have set up as a pillar (monument) shall be God’s house [a sacred place to me], and of all [the increase of possessions] that You give me I will give the tenth to You.

A Reading from the Letter of…

Romans 1:1-6 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures  regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David,  and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.  Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

One day I heard in my spirit “Silly Putty, time to wake up! Rise and shine!”  It felt like a playful “tickle” between a Father and His daughter.

I felt impressed (no pun intended) to write about Silly Putty, the nickname.  There was a time when I would pray for others and I would “get” their symptoms.  Before I understood this, I would get frustrated with those I prayed for if they did not do what it took (in my eyes) to get well.  I had, to fix them.  In my mind, without the right understanding of who and WHOSE I was, and what my function in the kingdom was, this was my only solution.  Fix people, or else I got what they got.  UNLESS, I stopped praying for them. I told the Lord I just couldn’t pray for people any longer.  I didn’t want their stuff.

So I stopped for awhile.  I felt compassion, I felt sorry for the sick, but I didn’t pray for them. Ironically, the presence of the Lord seemed to disappear when I stopped praying.

A few years later, I learned more about true intercession and my role as an intercessor in the kingdom.  Intercession is bringing people before the Lord and applying in prayer, the blood of Jesus to their sicknesses and situations.  He would highlight a symptom of a person, and I would feel it in my body.  I would experience a portion of what they were going through, and in the midst of whatever the situation was, the Lord would give me the solution, or release, in the Spirit.

Others have been healed when I grabbed hold of this.  Answers were received when I obeyed the Lord and learned about my function in the kingdom of God.  Simultaneously, it was when I stopped being afraid, and learned about my gift, rather than run from it, that God’s presence seemed to linger with me. He never really left me during the time I did not want to pray but it felt that way. He used that time to reveal to me who He called me to be and to show me that if I wanted His abiding presence and power to flow through me, I needed to acknowledge the gift inside as Holy Spirit manifesting Christ.

Back to “Silly Putty.”  If any of you recall this “silly” children’s “toy” if you will, you would remember it as a fleshy-colored piece of putty that you could roll around in your hand, make all kinds of weird shapes from it, divide it into several pieces, or press it upon the funny pages of the Sunday comics in the newspaper or comic books, and the image of whatever it was pressed upon was duplicated on the putty itself.  If you pressed the putty up against the image several times, the ink from the image transferred to the putty completely and after awhile there was virtually no more identifiable image on the original page.  Then you rolled up the putty in your hands, the image disappeared forever and you would wonder where it went.

One day I was having a very hard time with someone.   I started to identify with her and soon began experiencing her symptoms.  These symptoms were frighteningly familiar and I understood to well what brought her to the place she was at. I could barely handle it.  I just cried out “Lord she is pressing on me, help!”

The Lord replied “No, Silly Putty. I am pressing you on her!”

As intercessors who feel things,  we tend to stop when too much of someone’s stuff gets on us.  We don’t know how to release it to the Lord but the image that is impressed upon the Silly putty went away when the user of it took that image and rolled it up into His hand, and the image was forever gone.  Even on the page.

One morning I was doing a devotion in Romans 1 and I thought “Oh I love Romans!” but the Lord had me stop after Paul’s introduction of himself.   “Stop here?”  I asked and He said “Stop here!” So I read it again and the revelation bulb went on over my head.

What would happen if the Body of Christ woke up every morning declaring the day as a letter to be read?  Paul started his letters by stating who he was, what his role in the kingdom of God was, his purpose, his mission, his call, and yet, it was not really about him at all.  It was about the manifestation of Christ in him.

“Darlene, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called to be Silly Putty the Priest and Prophetic Teacher, Scribe, Dearly Beloved of the King and set apart for the gospel of the Kingdom He promised, for such a time as this, to manifest Christ Jesus, Lord, who through the Spirit of Holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead.  Through Him and for his name’s sake, I received grace and a priestly call; as prophetic teacher and scribe; as a watchman who watches for Him to come and one who calls forth His Bride-to-be, to be first a Bride and to rise up out of the wilderness and into the kingdom of the Lord, declaring that it is at hand.
And you also are among those who belong to Jesus Christ .

“Wake up. It’s time to wake up!”

Like Precious Oil

Ps 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!
2 It is like the  upon the head,
Coming down upon the beard,
Even Aaron’s beard,
Coming down upon the edge of his robe.
A great deal of work is required to produce just a tiny amount of precious oil.  Today we call precious oil, essential oil.     (Precious means good, best, of high value or quality and essential means necessary).
Sixty thousand rose blossoms are required to produce one ounce of rose oil.

220 lbs of lavender will produce 7 lbs of oil.

Jasmine flowers must be picked by hand before the sun becomes hot on the very first day they open.  It takes 8 million hand-picked jasmine blossoms to produce 2.2 lbs of oil. 

The sandalwood tree must be thirty years old and thirty feet high before it is cut down for distillation.  (Christ’s ministry also began at 30). 

 Resins such as frankincense and myrhh, are obtained by tapping: making deliberate incisions with a specially designed tool or ordinary axe, about 2 inches long, into the bark of the tree. The milky liquid that exudes hardens on exposure to air into droplets or “tears,” and are detached and collected 2 weeks later.  New tappings are made at the same place as old ones after removing hardened resin from the previous cut. If the tapping interval is short, then a light scratching of the wood is usually sufficient to cause the resin to flow again. The particular details of the tapping-the time of year it is undertaken, its duration, and the interval between individual tappings-vary according to the species and the customs in the area of production.  It may take 3-4 months to produce resin, and then 12 weeks to harden, before collection. 

And then the myrrh or frankincense must be  sorted and graded to determine quality.  

Much goes into the process of producing just a small amount of oil, and the oil that flowed down upon Aaron’s beard was the Holy Annointing oil of  Exodus 30:23-25

23Take the best spices: of liquid myrrh 500 shekels, of sweet-scented cinnamon half as much, 250 shekels, of fragrant calamus 250 shekels,

24And of cassia 500 shekels, in terms of the sanctuary shekel, and of olive oil a hin.

25And you shall make of these a holy anointing oil, a perfume compounded after the art of the perfumer; it shall be a sacred anointing oil.

It is as valuable oil that has taken months and years, even a lifetime, of cutting, of waiting, of expressing, of distilling, of fire, of tapping, to produce the abundance necessary to waste upon Aaron’s head, or the feet of Jesus. 

Father,  May we not go another day without realizing the value You place upon the unity of Your people in You.  The coming together often with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, the uniting of hearts and minds that we collectively have Your thought and mind.   May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts, may our prayers offered to You, our songs sung to You, our fellowship had in You,  be a pleasing and sweet fragrance,  a valuable offering, wasted upon You today and everyday.

Answer me, Oh Lord!

Ps 13:3-4 Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, And my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.
1 Kings 18:37 “Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that You, O LORD, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.”
David cries out to the Lord, ANSWER ME…  and Elijah cries out to the Lord ANSWER ME….
When David cries out,  it is to awaken his soul out of slumber that will continue to plummet unless He hears from the Lord, his God.    Then his enemy would have overcome him.
When Elijah cries out, it is so that the people would know that He alone is God and that their hearts are already turned back to Him.   The people did not know that their faces were turned back to the Lord already because they had walked in idolatry for so long.    Elijah was walking in the midst of a thick cloud of unbelief that was darkening and depressing his soul.
Taking counsel within our own soul is stale.   Like stale bread.     We need the Fresh Manna, but sometimes first, we just need to say “Lord Answer me, lest I sleep the sleep of death…. Lest I walk in the midst of unbelief and it overwhelm my soul… Answer me Lord!”
Father,  Answer me Lord.    Though You have shown me the path I ought to take,  I cannot walk on it unless I know You hear my prayer today, and respond back.   Speak to me Lord, for Your servant is listening…
 And Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.'”  So Samuel went and lay down in his place.   1 Samuel 3:9
 He said He will speak….  but we will not be able to hear Him til we get into the position we are called to.   Samuel went to get into His place.    He took his position and waited to hear from God.
Selah.

How Long Must I take Counsel in My own SOUL?

How long, O Lord?
Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide
Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be
Exalted over me?
Psalm 13:1, 2
Revelation of the Lord is Love.  It is an opportunity to partner with, to trust, to walk in faith.   Faith, comes by revelation of God.   It comes by hearing the word , I dont just believe with your ears.     We’ve been taught that, but it is more than hearing with ears.

David was crying out for fresh revelation.   Fresh Revelation – a touch from the Lord – a kiss, a word, a hug, a sense of His Presence in the now, a new facet of Him now discovered, unveiled, what was once unseen, now seen.   David was crying out for the freshness, the newness of God.

Because the counsel of our own soul is stale.
Sorrow was in his heart.   Have you tried to take counsel from someone who was full of only sorrow?    You know at this time, you MUST hear from the Lord.
Father I cry out to You today, to give us fresh revelation of You.  Fresh Manna from Heaven for You are our sustenance.  You are what we need.   Fresh bread.    Fresh bread.
The bread in our own earthen vessels is stale .

Pray for All Those In Authority

L.A. (not her real name) was not a well-liked person in the company I used to work for.  She had sarcastic remarks for co-workers, accused them of whatever she could accuse them of,  sometimes purposely went out of her way to make employement in this company difficult – even yelling on the floor.   Why wasn’t she fired?  Well, at the time, there was nobody to replace her, nor any takers for her position.   

 She was the Postal Liason.   
She was the subject of many “gone postal” jokes in our company.   I worked for a major trade newspaper, which published all along the East Coast and Southern states to Texas.   
My position was Account Manager for all New England, NYC and LI.  Among my responsibilities was to see to it that all 7,000 customers of ours in this area were happy, happy, happy.   There were, however,  problems outside of our company’s control.      These problems were postal related.    
We published time-sensitive data, therefore, if the newspaper was late, the information was useless.  
Working with L.A. was a challenge from Day One.   But in January 2006, I heard the Lord tell me I needed to intercede for her.   Within a week of intercession, she began bringing in baked goods for the employees.  But the employees would pick it apart searching for razors, needles or signs of anthrax.   L.A. was trying to earn respect but her reputation pre-ceeded her.   I began to help her with communication and social skills, constructing emails with her, and helping her put together policies and procedures to keep up with the changing tides. 
M.S. (also not her real name), was an Account Manager of MidAtlantic states.  She did not like L.A. and often led the charge against her.  
Soon, I was discovering that people in the company were coming to me when they had difficulties with L.A., as if I were her supervisor and responsible for her.   I would let them know, they had to learn how to best communicate with her.  
In March 2006,  I began to notice my region was strengthening.  There were some changes in the CT post offices that produced more timely deliveries, therefore more satisfied customers.    
In March 2006, a major post office shut down in one of the MidAtlantic states.   Customers loved our product, but as I previously mentioned,  the information was useless if it wasn’t delivered in a timely manner.   
And M.S. was faced with handling complaint call after complaint call after complaint call, and in between complaint calls, were cancellation calls.
I found it interesting that it wasn’t as if L.A. was doing a better job for me because she liked me.  She had nothing to do with the internal workings of the Post Office.       No.     God was involved in this in some way.      
He told me to intercede for L.A. in January 2006.    He wanted to show me something.   
Regardless of belief, personality, or disposition,  we are to pray for our leaders everywhere.   There are people directly influenced by them, that will either prosper or sink, and it may have little or nothing to do with their abilities, but may have all to do with whether they are prayed for.     
1 Timothy 1-3: FIRST OF all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men,    For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way.

    For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior,