Good news! The Lord is “cleaning house”

 

I just love when the Lord takes a moment to let us in on his secrets… his plans.  It makes it so much easier to know how to posture ourselves to be cooperating with him, to see purpose in what is happening around us, to stay focused when we might otherwise feel quite lost.  That’s what happened a few weeks ago.  On a Sunday night at church the Lord showed me the next “phase” or “season” our church would be going through, that would affect people deeply.  And that word is what I want to share, but first, let me give you a tiny bit of context for it.

I know many of you are accustomed to me posting about food or fashion or parenting stuff, but what is at the core of my heart is a love for Jesus and all things that he is involved in.  My Husband and I are privileged to be on the pastoral staff at Cathedral Church under a powerful couple, Suzann and Randy Feldschau.  I have personally been in ministry leadership positions for 18 years now, and have served with a vast variety of Pastors and leaders, and I can recognize the uniqueness of how pure-hearted and sincere this couple is.  They have a gripping desire to see God show up in a way that doesn’t just rock us, but changes our region, and prayerfully, the nations.  We want to see God in a very real, very powerful, very personal way.  We don’t want “church”.  We want HIM.

So, given that backdrop, we have a culture at our church that is pursuing revival.  The kind of revival that changes the face of a region and nation.  The kind of revival that our nation desperately needs.  We have been praying, contending, pressing for more of Him.  We have had MULTIPLE visiting ministers who are completely unrelated and all sound ministers, ( Perry Stone, Chuck Pierce, Cindy Jacobs, and a few others I can’t recall at the moment) comment and prophecy similarly that there will be a great Revival that will hit our church, and others, and go out to impact our region, and regions beyond us.  Having so  many legitimate voices saying they are hearing and seeing the same thing in prayer, takes it from just a dream of ours as a church, to clearly a dream of God’s heart for our church.

A few weeks ago, Pastor Feldschau preached a message that I knew the night before, was going to begin something.  I was sweeping my dining room and heard the Holy Spirit say, “This message on Fathers he will be preaching on in the morning, this is IT.”  Later I had more insight into even what that meant, but in short, basically, as there are keys that open certain doors, the message and revelation of this message on “Digging the Wells of our Fathers” is a key to unlock the door of Revival in our area.  Feel free to follow the link and listen to it.  Its powerful.

That night we had a somewhat spontaneous service planned in response to how the Lord was moving so powerfully that morning.  At prayer before the evening service, the Lord told me about the next season our church, and perhaps others, but specifically our church, would be walking through in preparation for the coming revival.  It was pretty specific and yet unique, and almost immediately I have started seeing it play out.  In fact, in the following week I had a number of people who hadn’t even heard the word I shared, ask me to go for coffee to talk, and they were experiencing what I had felt the Lord shared with me.  After about two weeks of this, my heart grew a little heavy for the people because even though I was aware it was the Lord moving and touching things in people’s lives,  the people weren’t perceiving that it was Him divinely at work, and I sensed that they were feeling discouraged, disoriented, and weary.  So, I was able to share it again this past Sunday at our morning service, and I was so grateful for the full family to hear it, so people could be more mentally prepared for how to respond when things started shifting.  Let me share this word with you and it will make more sense.
“I heard the Lord say, “Over the next two to three months the church will be going through a house cleaning.  I have already been shifting things and people and setting order in many ways for many months, but this will be on a much deeper level.  My presence will be surfacing things buried deep in the hearts of my people.  Things they might not even realize reside within them.  Think of it like this: Just as you clean your home before having company come over, I need to clean my House before “company” (referring to the people who would be drawn into the family through Revival) comes over.  If a person has company but doesn’t clean house, they run the risk of two things: Offending the guest for the lack of honor shown, and possibly putting the guest at risk of injury or harm if there were say spills on the floor, slippery spaces, or things left out to trip over.  I will be bringing many into the House to join the Family, but I want to minimize casualties and get the house ready to host them.  Those coming in will need to be greeted by a family who is ready to care for them.  My church will be able to comfort others with the comfort they will have received from Me. Right now, there are some deep rooted issues in my children that could cause offense or injury to young new believers, and I need to deal with those things.  But realize this: It is my presence that will be touching those heart things and bringing them to the surface, and IT IS MY PRESENCE THAT WILL BE HEALING AND BRINGING DELIVERANCE.  It will be a quick work because it will be my Very Presence that is doing it.  When I clean house, I do a good job, and it is always done with my loving, caring, merciful hand.  Some of these areas I will be touching in hearts will be so deep that it will be a bit tumultuous for them to be surfaced.  Such things like attitudes or beliefs that came out of an abused childhood or experience.  Fears that came on in childhood.  Addictions and bondages.  Shame that people have been carrying that isn’t theirs to carry.  Legalism that was religiously bred into them.  Relationships that have always been broken but need to be healed.  There is no end to the types of things that will be brought up, and it will be deep, “heavy” stuff, and much of it will be beliefs or attitudes so engrained into their nature, they think it’s their personality, they don’t even realize it’s an area that is hurting them.  But my presence is kind.  And my presence is effective to do the work.  It is MY PRESENCE THAT WILL SURFACE THESE THINGS, AND IT IS MY PRESENCE THAT WILL HEAL AND DELIVER THESE THINGS.

 

Remind my people when they are experiencing these moments, that i am doing this work strategically, out of my love and care for them, and my love and care for those who will be joining the family.  Tell them not to carry shame or discouragement over what they see.  It has always been there, it is not a surprise to me even if it is a surprise to them.  I have always loved them and always will, despite what they will see surfacing in them.  Tell them, the best thing they can do is take this posture: “Lord, as you work ALL things for my good, how can I cooperate with what You are doing in me, so You can finish this work?”  I am not threatened by their filth, or their brokenness.  If they begin to feel they are a disaster, just remind them, they are a beautiful disaster, because they are MY beautiful disaster.  And my love is enough to heal every wound, free every prisoner, break every addiction, restore every loss, and mend every heart.  Remind them not to be discouraged.  It will not last long.  Tell them to take heart!!  For I will complete the Work I have begun in them.”

 

Since I shared that word both a couple weeks ago at the evening service, and then last Sunday at the morning service, I have had people come up to me in astonishment  sharing how the Lord began to surface old wounds, old hurts, old shame that they didn’t realize they hadn’t dealt with.  And then they share how quickly they were able to find reconciliation or healing.  God is so good!  And so attentive!!

So what I want to say to you is this: If you find yourself in this place of seeing a lot of “junk”, or old stuff getting stirred up in you, take heart, because it is not that you are wearing new “stuff”, its that the Lord is surfacing OLD stuff, with the plan to bring healing and freedom.  He is so kind.  His Presence is what we truly need.  So, if you’re not sure what to do when those buried fears surface, or the bitterness and unforgiveness is unveiled to you, just go to Him.  Go hide out in his Presence.  Turn on some worship music and get REAL.  Get honest ugly.  Leave all the religiousness at the door, and bare your heart.  and then give him time to show you His love.  Let his presence minister peace to you.  Lay those things down.  Repent, be cleansed by his forgiveness, and when you get up to leave the room, leave that stuff there with him.  Cast all your cares on Him, because he Cares for you.   Reject shame.  His love is way too great to make any room for shame.  Shame is not yours.  Don’t wear it.  Wear his love and be set free.  Who said house cleaning was a bad thing?  I don’t know about you, but I feel quite refreshed and rested when I look around at a spotless house.  Enjoy the refreshing.  Enjoy the freedom.  🙂

Blessings to you each!

For those Mommas who just, well, MISS the Lord

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At a friend’s encouragement I decided to write this down hoping it would serve to breathe life into some of your precious momma-hearts like it did mine when the Lord shared it with me…

I don’t know how many of you have, like myself, found yourself in the midst of raising young children, chasing toddlers, cleaning house, tending to cooking and caring for a husband, found yourself just plain MISSING your time with the Lord like you used to know it. I miss the days of 2 hour quiet times if I just felt like it. I could close my eyes, get lost in worship, in the Word, hearing his voice, and get heaven and his heart downloaded to me any given day I chose it. Then I became a momma… and my quiet times are far from daily (as I would have defined it before), far from “uninterrupted”, far from 2 hours long, and just plain not like it was before. After I first had children (specifically, more than one child. Judah was easy and I still got lots of time with the Lord then… it was the second child that sped my life up so drastically!) I really wrestled with condemnation, guilt, sadness, a sense of loss and frustration over my struggle to find time with the Lord. I would constantly hear zealous phrases I’ve heard in the past whispering “If you want it bad enough, you’ll do what it takes to get alone with Him.” (ironically, always made by well-meaning men or single women who’ve never been in our shoes) or the comparative guilt trips of “I bet so-and-so still has awesome times with the Lord.” Even still, those old voices of comparison and guilt would sneak up to rob me of what meager times I MIGHT get with the Lord. So, in attempt to remedy the feelings of guilt, I would “do what it takes” to try and meet with him. And wouldn’t you know, those early mornings, late nights, or isolated nap-times for the boys would be the times they conveniently woke up early, stayed up late, or struggled to take a nap. I ended up more frustrated and sometimes, honestly, resentful at my children, for “stealing” my relationship with the Lord from me.

THE EPIPHANY…

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege, thanks to my generous husband, of being able to take a trip with some of our college students to a Hillsong concert in Houston. While there, the room was dark, the worship sweet, no one was asking me for juice or had snot running down their chin, so I just sat down and enjoyed being still and quiet with the Lord. And I found myself, as I have sooo many other times, approaching him immediately with my “I’m sorry’s”… I’m sorry I haven’t had time with you like I want. I’m sorry I haven’t made time for you. I’m sorry I haven’t woken up early, stayed up to pray, read your word, etc… and the list goes on. Except these weren’t apologies led by Holy Spirit’s gentle conviction, these were apologies, though sincere, that came more out of guilt and insufficiency. Then the Lord kindly interrupted me. He said, “Jenilee, stop, Darling. Stop apologizing. I see your life. Just take the moments of love when they are available. Seize the moments of love when you can, and enjoy it. Enjoy Me.” I began to explain myself, still feeling like somehow that was unfair to Him, given my apparent lack of devotion indicated by my lack of disciplined quiet times that I used to enjoy. And he went on in His Wisdom: “Jenilee, I want you to think of my servant, David. He is the only man acclaimed to have a heart after mine. The only man I said that about, in scripture. And often the picture is of him having ethereal, blissful, spiritual moments in the quiet fields with no one to interrupt him, but look closer. He was a shepherd, as you are. He shepherded sheep, you shepherd your children. He may have wanted to close his eyes and get lost in hours of blissful worship, as you do, but he couldn’t afford that. He had many little sheep that needed constant attention. He had to bring them to water, bring them to food, keep them corralled, chase them down when they wandered, keep a constant eye out for wolves, bears, lions, and then kill the beasts when they challenged the safety of his lambs…. much like you do. You have to feed and nurture your children, keep them in safe places, watch constantly that the enemy is not attempting to prey on them, and then you must stand up against the enemy when he dares to touch your child. You must constantly be alert, as a shepherd, day and night. There are moments of quiet, but even in those moments of quiet, you are watching, listening, caring. Just like my servant David. yet, he took the moments of love. He sang while he watched. He listened to my voice, while he scanned the herd for wandering sheep. He drew on my strength and wisdom when he fought beasts. He grew to know me, though his times with me did not look much like what you used to experience, or what he experienced in his own younger days, yet he knew me and sought my heart, even amidst the distractions, the constant watching and tending. And, though shepherding was a very simple job to the outside eye, I saw what it created inside him, and I saw him worthy to be established as a king. You will shepherd children for many years, and it may feel somewhat aimless at times, and even like you’re giving up much of your greatest potential in order to just wipe noses or scrub behind ears, and it may feel that there is greatness within you just lying there, waiting, untapped. Yet, at the right moment, those years of FAITHFULNESS, COMMITMENT and FIERCE CARE are laying a foundation for you to step into the “kingship” seasons that you sense resides quietly inside. When you feel your parenthood is an obstacle, the menial tasks of raising children “pointless”, remember my servant David, and continue on in your faithfulness, encouraged that it is not a waste, it is not fruitless, it is not wasting an ounce of what I’ve placed in you. The greatest king of Israel spent the majority of his young life raising sheep… and yet he made a great king of Israel because he seized the moments of love when they were available and allowed me to build him into a King. Don’t apologize. Just seize the love when you can, and enjoy me when you can, and realize this season of your life is bearing more fruit in you than most would see or appreciate. But I see. I know. And I love it. Thank you for shepherding my children to love me.  Thank you for doing the great work that may feel insignificant.  This great work will raise your children into great people, leaders, who’ll also leave a legacy for me.  Your faithfulness is your greatness.”

That’s all it took. That’s all I needed to hear. I hope it encourages you as it did me. Truly, the Lord knows the word that sustains the weary, and I’m so grateful for it. 🙂

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