Resting In The Moment

“Seeing pictures or visions from God is one of the most incredible ways you will ever encounter your Father God or Jesus. In a visual form He can show you His feelings for you, or give you a picture of your relationship with Him, in a way words simply cannot do. These encounters are always life-changing. Each picture will define your relationship with Him at that given time and season of your life. ” Linda Boone; Intimate Life Lessons: developing the intimacy with God you already have.

Did you know that one of the most difficult challenges you, as a child of God face, is being free from the self imposed burden of comparing yourself to others?  Sometimes your comparison may have to do with maturity, ministry or service. Other times you’ll find yourself watching the way someone else worships, prays or even soaks thinking, “I need to be more like so and so.”

So you go home and start praying more, worshipping more, reading Scripture more, even soaking more. There is something in you that says if you just did more… You fill in the blank with whatever it is that makes you think, that to really please the Father and receive His blessing you need to do more.

But just as we talked about the divergent ways the Father demonstrates His love and affection, so it is with the journey of your life with Him. When Jesus was preparing the disciples for His crucifixion He told them that the Father would be sending Holy Spirit to them, whose job it was to lead them into all truth – not just some truth or partial truth. He also said, “I still have a lot of things to tell you, but you’re not ready to hear them just yet.” (Jn. 16:12)

“I have so much more to say, but you cannot absorb it right now. The Spirit of truth will come and guide you in all truth. He will not speak His own words to you; He will speak what He hears, revealing to you the things to come and bringing glory to Me. The Spirit has unlimited access to Me, to all that I possess and know, just as everything the Father has is Mine. That is the reason I am confident He will care for My own and reveal the path to you.” John 16:12-15 (VOICE)

The same is true today as it was in Jesus’ time. There are many things He still wants to tell and show everyone of us, but Holy Spirit can only teach us what it is we are able to understand and live out of in the moment we are in. Not yesterday – which is gone. Not tomorrow – which has yet to come. Just now. Right here, in this moment, which is as unique to each of us as is the hair on our head and the DNA in our cells.

Which also means that what Peter said about each of us having already received everything we need for life and godliness by Their virtue and power, means that in this very moment, the Father has given you everything you need to totally please Him. To put a smile on His face in this very moment…and the next….and the next.

So instead of looking at others and thinking or entertaining the idea that you need to do more, be more or get  something else from God to really please Him, remember what Scripture says – you already have everything and Holy Spirit loves helping you discover the truth of exactly what it is you’ve been given.

Activation

Are there areas of your life that you’re struggling in, thinking if only….? During your intimate times with Abba start asking Holy Spirit to show you not only where you struggle, but of the fullness of Jesus you already possess.  (Jn. 1:16)  Then ask Holy Spirit to renew your mind and show you how to live and rest in this moment and the next and the next.

Mirror Imag-in-a-tions

“God has found a face in you that portrays him more accurately than the best theology!

Your features, your touch, the cadence of your voice, the compassion in your gaze, the lines of your smile, the warmth of your person and presence unveils him!” Francois Du Toit

When mankind was created the Father, Son and Holy Spirit wanted someone who looked, thought and acted like Them. Someone  scripture says,  made in the image and likeness of God Himself. (Gen. 1:28). And so the DNA of mankind was made to be the reflection and mirror image of God.

But sin entered that DNA and as a result it distorted man’s ability to see the truth about himself and about God. No longer was God Father, Savior and Friend. No longer did mankind see themselves as a reflection of their Creator. Instead, sin caused them to see a distortion of the truth, one that made them afraid of God. A new truth that said that there was something wrong with the way they looked, acted and thought. An imag-in-a-tion that said they needed to hide.

When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome he talked about the need to have the way they thought renewed. Rather than seeing God as distant and unapproachable, it was time to have the truth restored. Jesus came to reveal the truth about the Father. He told them that it was because of love that Abba sent His Son to redeem and restore the world.

Just as the first Adam infected mankind with sin so Jesus, the last Adam, cleansed them of it and with that cleansing came the unveiling of who we are in Him: restored sons and daughters – the mirror images of God.

Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.” Romans 12:2 (GNT)

Activation

By now you’ve developed your own comfortable God place, discovered what kind of soaking music you like to listen to and began to grow and mature in the way you and Abba communicate with each other. Yet even the most mature children of God have areas of their lives that still reflect the way the first children thought. Ways and thoughts that don’t echo who Holy Spirit says we are, but who the world does instead.

Which means that having your mind renewed to the truth about your salvation, life in Christ and Abba’s love, never really stops. It is an ongoing thing. So when you sense Holy Spirit poking or prodding at an area of your life that needs to change, don’t get discouraged and think He’s doing it because Abba isn’t pleased with you. Instead, recognize it for what it is, a lifetime journey of discovering the truth of your identity in Christ and the height, breadth, length and width of God’s love for you. (Eph. 3:14-20)

Zooming In On the Big Picture

“Every human life is an individual masterpiece; a self-portrait of God, hidden in the very DNA of their design! This is what Jesus came to reveal and redeem; the image of God in “you” man form, not as in a display window, but as in a mirror!” Francois Du Toit

Far too often the prophetic language of the Kingdom is seen as something too mystical for the average person. Particularly as it is applied toward those who seem more sensitive to things of the spirit or tend to be more creative in the way they think, see, or discern the world around them.

For example you might have heard someone referred to as ‘real or very prophetic’. Which just means that they’re often able to discern more about a situation than is readily perceived by someone else. You also might hear people referred to in the opposite vernacular, such as ‘she/he is about as prophetic as a brick wall’. This would imply that the person being talked about shows no indication of having any sensitivity to the prophetic language of the Kingdom at all.

But actually neither scenario is an accurate assumption of what may be taking place. Yes there are people born with a more highly developed sense of the spirit realm than others, just as there are those who appear to see the world more analytically. Yet to elevate or dismiss one over the other or to imply that one person is more highly gifted than another is to despise the very nature of Christ Himself.

For a clear understanding of any situation ALL the gifts must be present. Otherwise it doesn’t matter how sensitive someone is to the prophetic language of the Kingdom, they will only ever possess one part of the picture – never the whole itself. As the Apostle Paul pointed out in his letter to the Corinthian church (1 Cor. 12:1-27), every gift working together for the benefit of the whole – never one more exalted than another.

One gift may bring light to a situation while another will minister to the emotions of the individual(s). Another gift may bring clarity to what is being ‘seen’, while another will help to outline a plan of action.

Example: Mary Jane walks into a room carrying a tray on which sits a tea-pot, cups, saucers, spoons, creamer and sugar. No sooner does she cross the threshold than she trips and falls, spilling the tray and its contents across the room. It will take all the following gifts to see the situation clearly.

*Prophetic – sees/feels any spiritual implications such as demonic activity, fear, anxiety or past traumas.

Servant – sees a need and immediately steps in to help with the clean up.

Teacher – feels compelled to explain to Mary the spiritual applications seen by the prophetic, as well as how to keep from tripping with a tray full of tea-things again.

Exhorter – looks for ways to make Mary feel better about herself/situation – particularly after the inferences made by the prophetic person and or the teacher.

Ruler – possibly coordinates the other gifts. Likes to empower others. Is already in charge of several projects but would consider working with the prophetic, teacher and exhorter to develop a company that made it safer to carry tea trays.

Giver – a resource for either financing the safe tea-tray company or buying Mary a new tea set if they believe it’s a good investment.

Mercy – will be the one sitting on the floor with Mary. Their main concern is Mary herself and may become frustrated with the others for not caring enough or for being what they perceive as insensitive.

The above is a loose interpretation of the gifts in operation but should be enough to let you see how each gift only sees in part, and if left to themselves is less likely to minister to the whole person. Some will minister to Mary’s intellect while others will minister to her will and emotions. This is why it is vital that you don’t see one gift being more special or more spiritual than another. Everyone possesses all seven to some degree or another so that at any given time you and I can always be ministers of the heart and mind of God.

*Taken from Arthur Burk’s Redemptive Gifts

Activation

You were created with a need to be loved, to be significant and to be affirmed. That’s why real humility is not denying those needs, but recognizing that they are totally met in the eyes and heart of Abba God. And part of that journey of recognition is understanding how Father made you – the unique image of Jesus that He put in you that best represents God to heaven and earth.

If you don’t know which of the gifts mentioned above best represents you there are lots of tools available to help you learn and understand (such as the hyperlink attached to ‘Redemptive Gifts’). But these tools, apart from the Father’s love, are just tools and they will not really teach you how they were designed to express Abba’s loving kindness to others. For that there is only the Father, the power in the name of Jesus and Holy Spirit.

When Paul wrote to the church in Corinth (1 Cor. 12,13) and told them about the different gifts and how he felt that the gift of prophecy was better than speaking in tongues (notice he didn’t say not to speak in tongues, only that it benefited no one but the one doing it) he warned them that even if he had the gift of tongues, prophecy or other gifts and did not have love, it benefitted no one. Why? Because without love the gifts are nothing more than clanging symbols.

In today’s God time, as you soak in the Father’s love, ask Him how He’s gifted you to express the Kingdom of His Son and what that looks like through the eyes of love.

What’s That Mean…?

“Seeing pictures or visions from God is one of the most incredible ways you will ever encounter your Father God or Jesus. In a visual form He can show you His feelings for you, or give you a picture of your relationship with Him, in a way words simply cannot do. These encounters are always life-changing. Each picture will define your relationship with Him at that given time and season of your life. 

“For instance, you may be in a season of getting to know your Father. In one of your relational times, He shows you a picture of you as a little girl or boy being held in His arms. This picture is meant to reveal to you how He is being intimate with you so you can experience His love. 

“Then at another season of your life, maybe many years later, He may show you a different picture or vision of your relationship with Him. You may be an older daughter or son, or a grown-up daughter or son at that time. You may experience Him by sitting at His feet and putting your head on His knee, for instance. That picture is how you are to relate to Him in that season of time.” - Linda Boone; Intimate Life Lessons: developing the intimacy with God you already have.

Can you imagine sitting by the river with a bunch of your friends and suddenly a tornado is headed on a collision course with you and when it finally stops, out of it steps several creatures with four faces, wings everywhere, wheels within wheels and eyes all over the place?

Only in science fiction or comic books right? Your first thought is “That kind of stuff isn’t real and it doesn’t happen to regular people like you or I.” But according to the prophet Ezekiel it was real and it happened to him and others… all the time.

Yes, but he was special, you might add. Not really. The only thing different about him was that he was a priest during Israel’s exile into Babylon and God chose to use him and others like him to speak to Jews left in Jerusalem about their personal liability in its downfall and His plans to redeem them anyway.

So why bring up someone who has been dead for more than twenty-six hundred years? Because he is one of the best examples of how God chooses everyday people to partner and interact in a language that is anything but ‘normal’.

In 593 BCE there was no CGI (computer generated imagery), no science fiction and certainly no Marvel Comics. They were just regular people who understood that there was more to interacting with God than meets the eye. Matter of fact if you take time to study history you’ll realize that up until the the time of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, mankind regarded the language of dreams, visions and imagery to be as much a part of everyday life as plowing their fields and watching over their sheep. One never negated the other.

Yet even as ‘natural’ as this type of communication was, it still needed someone to interpret it, because very often it was symbolic for something else. When Ezekiel’s wife died he was told not to mourn her because he was to demonstrate how God was not allowed to mourn His wife Israel. When the Lord told him to pack his things and crawl out the same hole in the wall day after day it was an image of Israel being carried into captivity. And when He told the prophet Jeremiah to buy land, put the deed in a clay pot and bury it there, it was to symbolize God’s promise to return Israel to the land He promised Abraham, Jacob and Isaac.

All symbolic. All needing explanation. All meant to draw the hearer/seer into a deeper, more intimate partnership with the heart and mind of God.

Activation

“The idea that, if you do something wrong, God is going to judge you and be mad at you? It’s simply not true. It’s not Biblical, it’s not scriptural, it’s not Christlike!” Graham Cooke

It is vitally important that when learning to recognize the language of imagery that you always keep in mind that no matter what you see or hear everything has to be filtered through the heart of the Father, not the mind of our limited understanding. So today as you are soaking in the Father’s presence ask Holy Spirit to refresh your heart and renew your thoughts to how much the Father loves you. How God so loved the world and longed for intimacy that He willingly invested the Darling of heaven, Jesus, to make that possible. But this time instead of just focusing on your own Belovedness, ask Him to enlarge your heart for others as well so that you see even the most bizarre of things through the eyes of God’s love.

Pictorial Invitations

‎”That which is hidden has a greater power of revelation than that which is obvious. It is the digging for truth that opens our heart to it, not merely picking it up off the ground.” Graham Cooke

In my post, “In The Spirit On the Lord’s Day” I talked about the invitation God extended Jeremiah and John to come and dialog with Him and see the bigger picture of what was going on. We’ve also talked about how prophetic imagery is simply one of the languages of the Kingdom the Father uses to communicate His heart to us.

Everything about God, Scripture, prophecy, heaven, earth, stars, moons, suns etc. is simply an invitation to come up, go in, or drawn near to the heart and mind of God. Even old testament imagery of holy beings with four heads or wheels within wheels or God high and lifted up was never revealed in order to drive us away or make us draw back in fear and trepidation. Rather they were given as clues into the creative realm of heaven where mankind is not the only creation worshipping before the throne of God.

“So let Me show you pictures

be willing to see our relationship

be willing to see My love for you.

Be willing to be overcome and

overwhelmed with My love for you.”*

But of all the bizarre and strange things found in and out of Scripture only mankind has the recorded honor of being invited to partner with God. We see angels as messengers. We’re told about creatures called ‘thrones’ and four faces conversing with prophets. Yet none of them hold the distinction of being invited to share the kind of intimacy with the Father that you and I do.

They were called messengers. You and I are called children. That’s why its important to understand that whenever you experience pictures, images, videos or ticker or tape banners you are really being given a personal invitation to take what you’ve seen, heard or felt and go back to Father to dialog about it. Either for clarification or to understand more than what seems evident.

If the essence of God is love and love is always looking for a way to express itself, then remember that prophetic imagery is just one more expression of Father’s love for you and for those He’s invited you to partner with Him about.

*Page 88; Excerpt taken from “Intimate Life Lessons: How to Develop the Intimacy with God You Already Have”; Linda Boone, Kindle; Morris Publishing; Edition 1 (March 2011) available @dBay

Activation

By now you’ve started writing down your impressions during times of intimacy with Abba. You may have even started having dreams or feel like you’ve been given images for people where you work, go to school with, strangers at the mall, restaurant or elsewhere. Whatever they are or however you’ve begun to receive them remember that they are but the first part of an invitation. Like the address on an envelope the Father has sent you something and now its time to open the package.

After you’ve spent quiet time with Abba, resting in His love, soaking in His goodness and presence, ask Holy Spirit which of the pictures He wants to talk to you about today. Of all the things you’ve felt, seen or known about yourself or someone else in the last couple of days or weeks, which one would He like to expand on?

Be sure to record the conversation. There is a good a possibility there will be more to follow.

Thus Saith The Lord!

“I’m not interested in proving a theology right. I’m interested in proving God’s love in me right. Not to others, but to myself. To know his love, and to let it becoming more and more a part of my own love for others.” Mick Mooney

The terminology “Thus saith the Lord…” was common throughout the Old Testament. Before Abba sent Holy Spirit to live in the hearts of believers Holy Spirit came upon individuals but seldom stayed within. So instead of people being able to communicate on a daily basis with God they had to wait until the prophet came to town or go to Temple in hope the priests could. And more often than not if the prophet did come to town it wasn’t good news because it usually meant the people had done something wrong and he or she was there to tell them what it was.

But the prophet Joel spoke about a day when that would change, and instead of waiting for the ‘prophet’ to tell them what was on the heart and mind of God, His Spirit would:

“Then in those days I will pour My Spirit to all humanity; your children will boldly and prophetically speak the word of God. Your elders will dream dreams; your young warriors will see visions.

“No one will be left out. In those days I will offer My spirit to all servants, both male and female. “Joel 2:28-29 (VOICE)

It was never the Father’s intent that His people go to someone else to hear Him or live their lives in hopes of ‘getting a word’ from Him via someone else. From the very beginning the nature of prophetic imagery and symbolism was meant to be as much a part of your DNA as the color of your eyes or the shape of your nose. When Jesus came and restored the kingdom, part of that restoration was the prophetic nature of mankind – all of mankind, not just a few.

Yes, there are individuals that seem to be more aware or sensitive to the realm of the spirit than others, but that doesn’t make you or I any less spiritual or ‘prophetic’. Scripture clearly says we have received the fullness of Christ (Jn. 1:16) which means that just as Jesus walked in the fullness of Holy Spirit’s prophetic nature so do each of us – whether we feel like it or not.

Activation:

So often believers think they have to go to someone else to hear from God. Like Old Testament stories they are waiting for the Father to send a word or a “Thus saith the Lord…” But the reality is you have the Spirit of the living God within you and according to John the Elder, you don’t need anyone but Him to tell you what Abba is saying. (1 Jn. 2:20, 27).

Today if you’re feeling like it’s been awhile since you’ve heard Abba say something intimate and personal to you, tell Him. Don’t be bashful. Ask for a word of encouragement, a prophetic image, song or impression that will affirm His devotion to you. Just as a father doesn’t withhold his affection from his children, so Abba doesn’t withholds His from us.

In The Spirit on the Lord’s Day

“Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).” Jeremiah 33:3 (AMP)

“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” Revelation 4:1(NKJV)

Have you ever heard the saying, “I can’t see the forest because of all the trees?” Simply put, it means that you and I are standing in the middle of life surrounded by so much that is immediate, that it clogs your ability to see beyond now. Even if you could literally take a step back you’d still only be able to increase your understanding of the situation or circumstances by just a little. Which means in order to get a clearer view of what’s really going on you’ll need to find a way to see it from a very different perspective than the one you currently have or even the one your friends or family may have.

There are two passages in the Bible that talk about God’s desire to show you and I things from a completely different perspective than we possess. In the book of Jeremiah it was an invitation to call upon the Lord to discover and understand things that had to do with Israel, captivity, and the plans the Father had for their hope and their future. In the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ it was an enticement to the Apostle John on the Lord’s day to come into heaven and see the world, history, and creation as Jesus and His Father saw it – through the eternal eyes of God.

On both occasions each man faced situations that seemed impossible to overcome. The first saw nothing but destruction and despair, believing that Israel’s repeated disobedience had finally  removed them from Gods favor forever. The second was trying to encourage the churches of Asia Minor not to give up in a time when to even speak the name of Jesus in private was to either get your head cut off, find yourself being used as a human torch, or fed to lions as this Saturday’s entertainment.

Both men were caught up in the trees of life.

Both men needed to be able to get above their circumstances in order to really understand what was going on.

Both men were given permission to call on the Lord and see life from His perspective.

Just like Jeremiah and John you and I have days, weeks, months and even years where it is vital that we see life from another viewpoint than our own. You might be facing a serious health issue, loss of job or challenging relationship. This might be a season where life feels like it has turned left when you wanted to go right and the pain of it can make you lose all hope.

But the good news is the Father has extended the same invitation to you and I as He did to Jeremiah and John – “Ask Me and I’ll show you great and wonderful things that your heart can’t even imagine.”

Activation

Something that was very common among Old Testament prophets and New Testament believers was Holy Spirit’s use of  pictures, imagery and visions to help the one He was speaking with understand things from God’s perspective. Like looking at the earth from outer space, this pictorial language of the Kingdom let people see the ‘big’ picture – the ‘forest’- not just the trees.

Today as you’re soaking in the Father’s love, invite Holy Spirit to show you any area of your life where you might feel hopeless, lost, or less than complete. Or maybe there is someone you’re praying for but realize that you only know part of the story, not the whole. In either case ask to see the situation or circumstance from God’s heart – to see the forest instead of just the trees.