Season of Preparation

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In 1991, just before I headed off to College, the Lord gave me an open vision.  As I was driving my car, suddenly in my mind’s eye, I saw a huge movie screen open before my eyes and there it was.  The events of my past!  My heart was filled with remorse, as I uttered, “oops, sorry Father.”  It was clear that I had been steering my life in the wrong direction.  In the most gentle and gracious way, He said, “This is what you have done, I want you to see what I can do.”  His timing was perfect because I was ready for a change of lifestyle.   At that time, I was working the evening shift at the most popular bar in my hometown.   I was living my life selfishly and doing as I pleased without regard for anyone else.  Instantly, I knew that the way I had been living was unacceptable to my loving Saviour.   The one who had been with me the whole time. The one who died so that I could live.   Watching and allowing my very poor choices, Jesus loved me too much not to intervene.  He knew that the path I was on would lead to death.  He came so that I could have an abundant life of peace and joy.   So, He used the consequences of my bad behaviour to draw me to Himself.

Even though, I accepted Christ into my heart when I was 8 years old, my Holy Spirit education began when I was 21.  Looking back, I should have gone to Bible College instead of taking two years to become a travel consultant.  I’ve been toying with the idea of going to Bible College now, just to satisfy man, not that I think it wouldn’t be great fun. I do!!  But the Lord reminds me that He has prepared me exactly the way I am for His purpose and He doesn’t want me to be concerned about a title or a position.  The door He opens no man can shut.    1 John 2:27 says, “You have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true.  For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what He teaches is true – it is not a lie.  (The Message Bible version adds, “uncontaminated by a single lie”)  The Holy Spirit’s teachings are uncontaminated by man’s imposed ideas.   As well, Jesus said, “As it is written in the scriptures, ‘They will all be taught by God.’  Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him comes to me.”   Is it possible to be prepared by God to do His work without Bible College?  HE seems to think so!

While in college, I worked my way through a twelve step program.  The program encouraged us to, “take what we like and leave the rest.”   We choose what makes sense to us and mold our belief system around our own thoughts and feelings.  However, God wants us to build our belief system on His Word.   I’ve decided to soar like an Eagle in this life by basking in the amazing events, that Ephesians 2:10 tells us, He has planned for us to do.   Experiences that He promises are beyond my best imaginings.  He will satisfy my soul and the desires of my heart.

While homeschooling my son, pre-planning the lessons was important but I learned to be flexible because Holy Spirit reserved the right to change my plans at any given moment.   His memorable lessons always last a lifetime.   I want the only Father that I’ve ever had, to be proud of me and I know He is.  The one thing in this life I am secure in, is “His Love for Me.”   Sometimes, I worry that I’m too much like Moses and instead of speaking to the rock, I will become angry and have to face the consequences.  What I mean is, that my hasty behavior will set me off the best destiny path the Lord has for me.  Regardless, I know that nothing can make My Father love me any less.  However, I prefer the speed of the Holy Highway rather than the bumpy wayward ditch.

Since the experience of my open vision, I’ve pursued intimacy with God passionately so that my life can be a living testament to Him.  In the same way that Jesus did many other things while he was here.   If those events were all written down, the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.  Our lives would produce many books as well.   No one knows what you are capable of.  Only He knows.   My Holy Spirit education will never be complete and I CAN do all things with Christ, who strengthens me.   I wouldn’t want to do it any other way!

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LISTENING

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God is continuously trying to communicate with his children every day, all day long. Shown in the illustration above, His children choose to respond differently.   While some want to hear his every word and listen with every part of their body as well as tuning in with the spiritual part of themselves, others refuse to even acknowledge that he exists and others listen only to what they want to hear, when they choose.   Imagine how these last two types of listeners’ behaviour must hurt His feelings.   Yet He chooses never to give up on them.

How does He communicate with us?   First and foremost, to hear God, you need to know the Bible, which is His written Word, from cover to cover with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, as well as His living Word, which is Jesus. As you read through the bible, you need to ask God questions and allow Him time to show you the answers. The bible doesn’t tell the whole story. There are gaps that the Lord wants to fill in for you but it’s a mystery and that’s why He tells us to seek His kingdom. His kingdom operates differently than this world.   For example; in heaven, you don’t need the promise of protection because you are always safe there.  I hear that an orange that you pick from the tree is fully ready to eat.  On earth, the reason for the peel is to protect the fruit. In heaven, there is nothing to damage the orange’s flesh. This analogy shows how His kingdom is contrary to the world’s system.

Knowing God’s written Word will also help you differentiate between the truth and a lie so that you can discern between the voices that are speaking. In your mind, you hear your own thoughts, the voice of the enemy disguised by your voice and the Holy Spirit as a still small voice. The enemy wants to confuse and deceive you. God promises that the mind that is focused on Him will be in perfect peace.

Other ways you hear His messages “in part” are through other people, repetition, nature, dreams and visions, art and music, in prayer and through circumstances.   Keeping your heart open and uncluttered will allow you to hear Him better.   Often He gives us one revelation at a time so it is easier to digest and will establish a firm root in our souls.

Sometimes He is silent but even in His silence, He’s communicating.   He likes listening to you so in those times of His silence, keep expressing yourself to Him.   Being the awesome Father, He models the behaviour He wants us to have. He beckons us to “Do as He does!”   The more we get to know God, the more we become like him.   Remember, we were made in his image but by choosing sin, we choose to oppose that image. Be deliberate in setting aside time each day to practice listening. As you learn to address Him as your constant companion, you will begin experiencing two-way communication.   In my experience, my desire to hear His voice has increased and as a result, I speak less and listen more.   God encourages us not to give up lest we lose our hope. God loves you with an everlasting love!!