Tag Archives: Spirit Filled Life

When God Shows Up

Many years ago, in a small church in Mexico, I interpreted a whole sermon from Spanish to English. That might not seem very remarkable to some of my readers, but to those who know me (and my very limited Spanish skills) it was nothing short of miraculous. We had just spent a week helping two small churches with their missions to the local community, but just before the end of our trip our interpreter had to leave early.  When we arrived at the church that Sunday, I looked at the two young men who had been interning with a local missionary, waiting for them to begin interpreting. However, they just looked at me and said they couldn’t. I tried to tell everyone that I was absolutely not able to interpret a sermon, but seeing that no one else was able or willing I agreed to give it a try.

As I opened my mouth, God showed up. Somehow I found myself understanding words I had never heard before, and in the few spots (at the beginning) where I got stuck the pastor’s gestures were enough to help me get it. By the end of the message I was getting nearly every word. To this day, I find it hard to believe that happened, but really I should’t have been surprised. If I’ve learned anything in the last few decades, it is that God does miraculous things when we step out in faith.

For years I knew he was calling me to begin a domestic violence ministry, and I sat back waiting for him to show me the details. I prayed and waited for him to provide the income, but nothing happened. Eventually the calling became so strong I began to pour all my effort into developing an alternative source of income so that I could do the ministry. But that didn’t work either, nor did any of my efforts to figure it out and make it happen in a way that seemed safe and secure.

One day as I was crying out to God, I clearly sensed his voice in my spirit telling me that his calling was not for me to make it happen, but to be obedient-– even when I couldn’t see how he was going to do it. I had been spending all my efforts trying to do it in a way that made practical sense, but he was calling me to the impossible. He was calling me out of my comfort zone into the miraculous. Often when God calls it makes no sense in the natural realm. Consider the story of the Israelites crossing the Jordan. They arrived there when the river was at flood stage, but God told them to walk through the river.

“Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing.” Joshua 3:15-16

Isn’t it interesting that the flow of the river didn’t stop until the priests put their feet in the river? It seemed crazy by human standards, but that’s exactly how God works. He calls us out of our own understanding into his ways (Pr. 3:5-6).  We simply have to be obedient to walk towards his calling. Until we put action to our faith, nothing changes. That does not mean we try to force our idea of how his plan might look. Instead, it means trusting as we walk towards his calling. When we do He shows up mightily.



Learning to FOLLOW

Lord, I want every bit of my life to reflect You! The only way for that to happen is for a radical change to occur. The status quo has to go! Polite little quiet times are not enough. I want my entire life to show the world how great You are. I won’t be satisfied with checking off a list of “to do’s;” my only satisfaction will come from abiding in your presence moment by moment. I want to hear your voice. Please take me deeper than my shallow mind can conjure up, and let my spirit stay in communion with You constantly. Paul would not have said pray without ceasing if it were not possible. Strengthen me to do that! But let it be communion with You, not just mindless babbling from me. I need You desperately, and ask You to come and fill me with yourself.

Child, I see your thirst. I am a good Father and never refuse a thirsty child. I have given you my Spirit, and you need only to stir up the gift I have given you (2 Tim. 1:6). Enter into my presence with thanksgiving and praise (Ps. 100:4). That is where you will find refreshing for your thirsty soul. Keep your gaze ever upon me, because I am the author and perfector of your faith (Heb.12: 2). This means you can’t conjure up whatever it is you think you need. You must completely depend on Me. You stay so frustrated with yourself, and that is simply a waste of energy. Walking in the Spirit is a matter of following my lead. Remember those times you went dancing and were told that you were leading? That’s what you do every day. Yes, I am still with you, but I cannot lead you to those places of refreshing until you stop trying to lead! I will hold you. I will rejoice over you with singing (Zep. 3:17), but you must learn to follow if you want Me to lead. Part of your problem is your natural personality bent, and a lot of it comes from your experiences in life. Just remember that I am not like any person you have ever known. I am worthy to lead, and will lead you beside that still water your soul so desires. Come to Me! Hold my hand, and I will do more than you ever dreamed. I love you so my child. Trust me and come.

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. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (Jn. 7:37-39)