Rooted

 

 

I have noticed a trend recently, not sure why I did not figure it out sooner during the year I’ve been here in Kzoo. Well, I kept recognizing it but now am realizing that it has purposely stuck out more than anything else. That thing is intimacy with God. Books I’ve been reading, sermons I’ve heard, words that have been given to me and some other things just have all been pointing to intimacy.

I finished up my internship at WMU the other day (s/o #WeWillReign) and realizing early that this gig wasn’t for me forced me to look inside and figure out my passions and go from there. Over and over the Lord kept revealing those to me and not till few months ago did I pick up on it ha. This year probably has been the most time I have spent in my prayer room with Him. During these times of intimacy, these passions and dreams have been shown to me and I have started to think of what it would look like to go after them and pursue them more than I have had before. Sitting at a desk, typing a whole lot and not having much of an impact besides on my co-workers (which is awesome) really wasn’t what I was looking for in my career. I’m more of a relational person and want to have a bigger impact on the youth and what not.

Anyway back to intimacy, I’m always trying to grow my gift of words and knowledge and hearing from the Lord and I’ve read books by Shawn Bolz (highly recommend) and Michael Koulianos that have been super helpful, knowledgeable and practical. Like the theme of those books really have been being more intimate with God. Koulianos’ book is more about Holy Spirit than words of knowledge but anyway here is a quote I liked from it, “I would give Him my attention. I would talk to Him, speak to Him and worship, and He would distract me with His beauty. His presence became so overwhelming that I forgot about my struggles. As we tend to the presence of the Lord, our struggles die on their own.”  He then references Ezekiel 36: 26-27. The more time we spend in His presence the more He is going to reveal Himself to you and even reveal more of your true self to you. I don’t have my Shawn Bolz book with my right meow but he had a bunch of quotes about being intimate with the Father. This verse is HUGE in my opinion…pretty much sums it all up!

Matthew 11:27 (The Passion Translation) 

 “You have entrusted me with all that you are and all that you have. No one fully and intimately knows the Son except the Father. And no one fully and intimately knows the Father except the Son. But the Son is able to unveil the Father to anyone he chooses.”

I feel like at times that people have made the Christian life a lot more complicated than it is…it’s about Christ ha. It’s about getting to know Him and to live like Him! Growing in our intimacy with Him is going to make us know and live like Him. Anyone knows that the more time you spend with someone the more you will know them lol. If we are truly in this relationship with Him that should be the goal right? The Gospel is about knowing God (insert KGP booklet haha #CruLife) and His wonderful plan for your life. Since we have fallen short of the glory of the Lord, the only way that we can know God is through His son Jesus and receive Him.

Yeah mon, there just is something you can’t explain when your in His presence, receive a word for someone, see healing, or what have you. Even more so when there is a small group of people just going after it, whether its in a prayer room setting, in a church or in a sketchy college house that could break at any moment (s/o Arubbah House).

I have been in Song of Soloman and I’m a little biased toward The Passion Translation but it paints a beautiful picture of how God feels about his Bride.

Song of Soloman 4:7-8 (TPT)

“Every part of you is so beautiful, my darling. Perfect is your beauty, without flaw within. Now you are ready, my bride, to come with me as we climb the highest peaks together. Come with me through the archway of trust. We will look down from the crest of the glistening mounts and from the summit of our sublime sanctuary. Together we will wage war in the lion’s den and the leopard’s lair as they watch nightly for their prey.”

So yeah intimacy is so important if we truly want to follow Christ, I was listening to one of UPPERROOM’s prayer sets and one of people said, “I want to be so close to Him that I can smell His breath” haha come on, I love that, nothing but good comes from God so His breath has to smell amazing lol, I’m thinking like a combo of meat cooking and lavender haha.

There are always songs that you can just FEEL something when you listen to it. Whether that is a worship song or whatever music your into. I love that music has such a cool impact on people and moves in our souls. This song has been one of those, I just long for more when I hear it.

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Clearer

This whole year has been well umm something. I didn’t really know what to expect moving to Kalamazoo. I was excited but also honestly a little upset I wasn’t going to Australia. I Have been questioning for quite some time why I am here and what was the purpose of me being here this year. Because I found out pretty early in my internship that this career wasn’t for me. Months and months of prayer I think the revelation of why I am here has started to come to me.

If I would have gone to Australia, I would have had great community surrounding me, would have had solid growth spiritually and experienced some incredible things and memories. Honestly, that would have been the easy route…God doesn’t always give us the easy route. This route has been challenging and I feel it has prepared me more for my life 10+ years down the road. I still have been able to grow, experience some cool things and be surrounded by some wonderful people, just have had to work harder at those things. I wanted to contend for revival in Australia and everywhere else we were gonna go ya know, see people get touched and healed by God and like we need revivalists here in America too. I was like a firecracker that wanted to explode, I wanted to go to the nations and see people experience God. Like I said earlier going to Australia would have been easy, I would probably have seen those things but being here has been more challenging with seeing these things but so awesome when they do.

For instance, last week I was disciplining this kid at this coffee shop and like we finished and he left but I felt like I was supposed to tell the worker there a word. So I told her it and she started shaking and crying. The Lord really touched her and He kept telling me stuff while I was praying over her and it all made sense to her PTL. Was so awesome man, we had a great conversation about things she was going through and dreams that she had abandoned that the Lord wanted her to step back in. It was just so good, I haven’t been back to that shop but hope she’s working next time I go to see how things are going with her trying to figure things out. He is good amen ha!

A word I heard about the season of pruning at KHOP back on my birthday has really been a perfect representation of what I’ve been through this year. God will put us in these seasons to test us, He does that you know.

James 1:2-4 (The Passion Translation…I’ve been diggin this version lately lol)

My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.

He trusts us enough to put us in these tough test because He knows we are going to rely on Him even more and our faith will increase during these times. It is a time of growing closer to Him and a time of growth for time beyond the present. I’m someone who isn’t good at test or likes them or studies for them but I want to “study”and ace these tests.

John 15: 1-4 (TPT)

I am a true sprouting vine, and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father. He cares for the branches connected to me by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest. The words I have spoken over you have already cleansed you. So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine.

Most of the things that I have been in prayer about have been things that are going to make me better for those further in the future times. You know shaping me into a better Godly man that seeks Him first, be obedient, leading others, love those that surround me and all that good stuff. I’ve been growing in ways I wouldn’t have been able to if I was in Australia. Like being more of an “adult” with finances and just how I’m livin. Learning how to adapt to new areas and new places.

There has been times that it’s been rougher than others like I was down a few weeks ago but His joy filled me up through worshiping and hangin with my good friend Jason. Since then things have been solid….PTL.

So I have felt strongly about just moving to Dallas, Tampa or Miami and kind of putting myself in a place where I’ll enjoy living and just figure things out from there. I know not the best strategy to wing it, but just starting to make moves I hope will start to lead to open doors and being able to start enjoying whatever it may be. Then I may go back to school to be a teacher (pretty much so I could coach baseball) but not sure I really want to do that at this time so I don’t know we’ll see. My crepe shop is always an option, my business plan is done besides some editing to it ha.

My lease ends at the end of July so I’ve got a few months left in Kalamazoo. It’s gonna be interesting for sure, I guess I’ll just have to wait to see how things are gonna turn out…

“His praise endures forever, what that means is when we praise that activity will endure. Your circumstance your feelings whatever your going through that won’t endure but His praise will endure. What gets us through today is tapping into those eternal realities that He endures forever.” – Michael Miller

Breakthrough

Well, ironically the church I’m going to right now is doing a series called breakthrough…but things are kind of starting to unravel and are starting to make sense more to me just about what my passions are and where my heart is at.

Like I have shared before this season I have spent a lot of time in the prayer room laying things down before the Lord and seeking His presence more and more. In typical God fashion the more I have been doing this the more I have felt Him reveal things to me that just totally make sense and refresh my soul.

Some of the highlighted things that He has shown me have been sonship, surrender, fear of the Lord, joy and trusting Him. Some good stuff right there lol. I will usually (unless I forget) ask God for a word for the month to kind of rally around or something to continue to remind myself to walk in. Last month He gave me the word surrender. Being reminded of surrendering my worries and my “things” to God is so good I mean releasing those things off my back onto His has been so awesome. I had some things bringing me down but releasing those to a Father who can carry it and loves us in those rough times is such a blessing. Throughout the past few weeks the song Nothing I Hold Onto has been playing in my head. There is this awesome verse that goes, “I lean not on my own understanding my life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven, I give it all to you God, trusting that you’ll make something beautiful out of me.” I began to soak in that truth and stop trying to do it all by myself because like a lot of people, I think I can do it all on my own and during the rough times its hard but when you truly surrender these things to God…man does it get easier ha. Such freedom when we release it and truly surrender because then He can use us in miraculous ways.

The words of joy and trusting in God just have been good reminders to myself to continue to live in that joy and welcome it. We all know that it can be super hard to trust the Lord in things and then we’ll trust in Him and boom it all works out. I have been going through Exodus and it was awesome to see God provide in telling Moses that if he listened and told Pharaoh what he said that the Israelite’s would be released…sure it took a while and a whole lot of other things went down that made it a little more challenging but they were released and then God revealed the Ten Commandments and the land that was promised to them (unfortunately they botched that by worshiping the golden calf) . When the Israelite’s saw God’s power they feared him (get into that in a sec) and began to trust Him even more. Seeing the Lord’s power in that book had me thinking like how could I not trust that He will help me out or how could I not trust in Him providing.

I really never heard a word about the fear of the Lord until like two years ago and like since then it has been highlighted to me to be sure I understand this. Past few months I think I have forgotten to remember this and will let earthly fear seep in and forget that the fear of the Lord will bring me way more than fearing anything on earth. Like this generation has molded God into our imagine and if we don’t think God judges then what’s the need for salvation. We don’t have a proper fear of the Lord so we live like we wanna live and we start to begin to look like the world. You can’t change the world is you look like the world…come on! I could go on about the fear of the Lord but I’ll leave it at that.

The biggest thing that has kept coming up is understanding my sonship. I was at Azusa Now Cleveland in July and Todd White (S/O to Callie haha) and he went off about sonship and dang it was so good he said, “How can we live like our Father if we are living like an orphan … we need to know who we are and whose we are.” Man that was so good. I have been thinking about that lately and during my small group at church we where in Ephesians and somehow sonship got brought up. Anyway just have been thinking more about how to live that out more and what it means to be a child of God you know. Just was good.

With all of that, I also work. It has it’s highs and lows like any job but you always hear do what you love and it won’t be work and things of that nature. Since I’m newer to the area (I need to stop saying this haha its been 3 months) when I meet people I tell them I’m gonna be here in Kzoo for a year then who knows. I’ll share my dream of opening either a crepe shop or opening a baseball academy for kids. The more I say it the more I want to pursue it more and more. I know these ideas may be 10 years or so away which stinks cause I mean if I could do it right now I would but I need money and develop a plan to start them up. At work like its not a bad gig I enjoy it sometimes but it really doesn’t satisfy me, I really don’t see myself doing this long term…I am constantly thinking about those dreams. I want to be my own boss…no further explanation lol. One of the biggest things that troubles me with working in athletics is the hours. It stinks when people I know are chillin and I can’t cause work or my boss will call me while I’m at a party or friends house telling me to fix or do something. Like once I leave the office my mind is on anything but work. Like down the road when I start a family like I’m sorry but my family is going to come first over my job…so having my own hours will be clutch ha. I know I’m going to have to spend a few years doing something maybe more sport information stuff or who knows to start making moves toward my dreams.

Prayer room sets are the best…am I right?!?! Whether its IHOP or Upper Room or Toledo House of Prayer resting in His presence and purposely setting time for prayer and for revelation is so good. Stepping into the tabernacle and into the holy of holies… man…gaining that intimacy with God is….something I can’t put words to haha. When we let Him move in us it is so powerful and encouraging. I declare freedom over whoever reads this, may your lamp always remain burning!

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”