My treasure hunting happens in seasons as the Holy Spirit leads!
I stepped into my loft/office this afternoon with the anticipation of writing. As I perused my plethora of books that often distract me from my work (because I love to read), a gift from my mom caught my eye. It usually makes me cry. This time was no different! This treasure touches me so deeply every time I open up this little booklet that is inscribed with a sweet, inspiring, love note from her. It breaths life into the longing I have to feel next to her and for her to spiritually spur me to never forget my first love, Jesus!
She writes, "Congratulations Darling on your many achievements, your growth, and your understanding your spiritual growth , and your acceptance of life. May God keep you in the palm of His hands until the day He says 'Well done Patty' . Love, Momie"
Wow! I choke every time!!!! I was turning 18 and graduating from high school when she wrote this in a booklet with this title..."Climb Til Your Dream Comes True; A Collection of Inspirational Verses to put Joy in the Journey of Life, by Helen Steiner Rice". I love poetry, I love spiritually deep books. I have always viewed my life as a journey, and my mom was my spiritual mentor that taught me about having a real relationship with Jesus, and I loved her!!! I came from spiritually rich beginnings!!!
My mom is with Jesus now! I miss her terribly! She was my mom!! So significant to me is that she signed her note "Love Momie". We never called her momie. Her heart was transparent in this note that she loved me as her child and that not only did she give me life, but she knew that she had given me what she could to grow me spiritually. I am rich because of her! The bond between a mother and her child are strong!!! She was launching me to life!
When I am longing to feel loved, accepted, believed in and in need of confirmation, I read her love note to me!!! She speaks to me even when I can no longer hear her voice!
I began to praise my Lord and be thankful for my spiritual heritage. But, that wasn't the end of an outpouring from God. The Holy Spirit prompted me to further search my bookshelves. More treasures starting jumping off the shelves. The collection of books in my arms began to grow. My treasures included the significant books I read as a teenager that directed my path and deepened the roots of my relationship with my Lord Jesus early in life! It would be the spiritual place that continues to testify to me this day!
I took my treasured booklet and my collection of books with all their powerful words and went out into the sunshine and spread them out. I was gazing upon a tapestry of wisdom, life, joy, words that seeped into the depths of my soul and pointed me to my first love....Jesus!
I broke out in full worship and praise to my Lord, and thanked Him for my mom and the journey He has given me thus far! I thanked Him for His faithfulness and that He never let's go of me!
And then, another prompting! The Holy Spirit prompted me to text a phenomenal woman of God! She is one of the few people you meet that you can feel the anointing of the Lord in her life. She is also famous and it was intimidating to think God wanted me to continue a communication that started last week. I trusted His prompting and it resulted in a phone call that was so confirming of my mom's words and the message from the Holy Spirit as he reminded me of my amazing journey thus far! He whispered "Trust Me".
After that conversation, I was just having a grand time worshiping my Lord and singing as I was walking in my woods with sunshine everywhere and feeling God's Holy presence!!!! I have so longed to be in God's presence like that as I have many times before!! I have longed to feel loved....unconditionally!! I have longed to just BE with Papa Father!!! My pursuit of Him always brings me to Him...especially when I can get out of the way!
I share this with you because, just like you, I have strongholds in my life. I have shortcomings and faults, and I, too, am a sinner saved by God's amazing grace! As such, I am called to bring all that to my Papa Father! But, things get in the way...I get in the way!
The Holy Spirit has been working in me on my journey of demolishing my strongholds through confession and prayer. God has plans for me! When my strongholds take up residency, that leaves no room for God. I can go to church, pay my tithes, read the bible, go to a great bible study, volunteer in a ministry, etc., all of which is good, but for naught if I am not willing to give up territory and allow God to break down the walls of the fortress that keeps me in bondage. Grief and much loss has shadowed my life for a while and God has done much healing in my life. I needed to know that God is plotting my course and that I'm not just aimlessly wandering around!
Strongholds aren't necessarily sins, but they can lead to sinful behaviors. Ex.: Having low self esteem or having experienced rejection can cause someone to become a people pleaser, which often times means you are too busy pleasing others and not growing in your relationship with God. This is just one example. Books have been written on the subject it is so prevalent.
If you have joined us at The Well and the study of strongholds, well, then you understand that strongholds can be anything from dysfunctional belief systems from our youth, family, church family, false teachings, legalistic teachings...all that can lead to paralyzing fear, insecurities, doubt in our Heavenly Father, piety, narcissism, etc. The list could go on, and does! Books have been written about these issues, both in the secular and Christian world. You can find a self help book anywhere that says "if you just do these 3 things, 5 things, 9 things then you will be set free!"
Freedom comes from God! Knowing God in a true relationship brings freedom from that which entangles us! A relationship of any kind requires effort, time spent together, commitment, genuine interest in each other, a desire to want to be with the other person! Without knowing God, how can anyone expect to be set free! Knowing God also means you know He is Sovereign. Knowledge of scripture is vital to our spiritual development and growth. Knowledge OF someone does not make for a relationship. You must spend time with God---purposeful, meaningful time with Him!
Here is the scripture I live by and I share with my sisters often:
Hebrews 12: (1)"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, (2)fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God, (3) Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." NIV
I encourage you to continue on your journey of demolishing the strongholds that keep you in bondage and to be persistent in your pursuit of deepening your relationship with God. IT IS WORTH IT!!!
Today my joy is full!!!! I am encouraged and I am loved!!!
Grace and Peace,