May 18, 2006

To Dwell or not To Dwell...


This one, simple word has been repeated and brought up to me again and again in the past few weeks... whether it be in my own prayer time or Bible reading... or at a Prayer meeting, or in a sermon on TV... it was spoken on a commercial, sung in a song, and whispered in my spirit...

Maybe, just maybe... God is trying to say something?!

According to Websters Dictionary, 'dwell' is a Verb - an action word... and it's definition is: "1 : to remain for a time 2 a : to live as a resident b : EXIST, LIE 3 a : to keep the attention directed b : to speak or write insistently." This definition astounds me... for every aspect of it I am able to personalize and see how God is calling me to "Dwell" in or through certain things!

To Dwell or not to Dwell... that is the question! We all know that we 'should'.... and yet - our days get filled up and our calendars overwhelmed... and days and weeks may go by before we realize we have forgotten to 'dwell'... to remain for a time... to live as a resident... to keep our attention directed on the Lord! We all do it... and there is grace for it! But - then... this is where it can get sticky for me... I so do not want to fall back into religion, and yet - my hearts desire is to Dwell with Him more and more. I know He is calling me, and calling you, to a deeper walk with Him - where we Dwell more consistently, without the trappings of religion & lack of grace.

The thing that amazes me is that even in this - this call to Dwell with Him... He is willing and wanting to meet us halfway! He desires to Dwell with us, as much or more so than we desire to dwell with Him! Some of these Scriptures speak of our dwelling... and some speak of His!

I pray that as you read through these verses, God will stir in your heart to come away with Him and simply 'Dwell' for awhile! am off with my husband for a weekend retreat of sorts with two other couples... it is something we do a few times a year and we so look forward to it! It gives us a chance to relax and visit, catch up, and pray... laugh, and worship, and just refuel! I plan on doing a little Dwelling of my own this weekend...

To help get you stirred up to do the same, here are just a few of the Scriptures He has put in front of me the past few weeks...

"In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling." Ex 15:13 NKJV

"Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place." ~Psalm 23:6 Amplified

"One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple." ~Psalm 27:4 Amplified

"Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. 8 The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life." ~Psalm 42:7, 8 NKJV

"How lovely is Your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young— Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, They make it a spring; The rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah. O God, behold our shield, And look upon the face of Your anointed. For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You!" ~Psalm 84 NKJV

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." ~Psalm 91:1 NKJV

“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the LORD." Zech 2:10 NKJV

"If you will walk in My ways, and if you will keep My command, Then you shall also judge My house, and likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk among these who stand here. " Zech 3:7 NKJV

and finally...

I pray that you will "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Colossians 3:16 NKJV)


May 12, 2006

Free Us, Oh Lord!

"Free us, Oh Lord!!!"

This is what I keep hearing in my spirit... I cannot shake it! A few weeks ago, on my way to a prayer meeting, the Lord gave me a Song. He had given me this 'tune' in Intercession a few months ago. In fact, I hummed the tune literally for HOURS. The tune was SO familiar to me, but I can't place it or know the words. That day on my way to prayer, I had been praying in the Spirit and then began singing words... it was only later that I realized that is was the same tune!

"Free us, Oh Lord! Free us, Oh Lord! Free us, Oh Lord, to be with You!
Free us, Oh Lord - from our inhibitions, from fear of man, instead of God, from lies & deceptions. Free us, Oh Lord! Free us, Oh Lord! Free us, Oh Lord, to be with You!
Free us, Oh Lord - from our own perspectives, our misconceptions, & ties that bind, from sickeness & diseases..."

The words kept coming... of course - I was driving and didn't write them all down! This morning as I was preparing to meet with a friend, the same tune came back to me and the words changed to "Heal us, Oh Lord..." It is, I believe, a song of intercession... You have to know that I am not musical... I can not sing - at least not well - and have not ever attempted to write lyrics to a song or anything. That is my husband's gifting and he is anointed in worship and writing. But this thing is bigger than me - and is tied to intercession... I believe it is lining up with His will for us when I begin to sing out these words... these are all things that He is desiring to do within each of us... to Free us, to be with Him... to Heal us, to live for Him...

This is a Sound from Heaven... and if He will do it for me, He will do it for you! I pray that He puts a new song in your heart and gives you your own song of intercession that will call forth healing & wholeness... ultimately releasing that Abiding Love & Abounding Grace!


May 10, 2006

How Many Hats Do You Wear?

How many hats do you wear?! Metaphorically speaking, that is?! What all is on your plate that simply doesn't all fit into one day!? How many things do you juggle, trying to keep your priorities straight and your list of things to do continually being marked off?

I went through a season not too long ago that I loved hats! I loved all kinds and styles and colors and textures... I wore hats all the time... special occasion? I had a hat for that! Running to the grocery store or out to a game... got a hat for that too!!! I just loved hats! It quickly changed though from wearing my hats, to merely collecting them (so that I could maybe wear them later?!) As I am going through "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldridge, the Lord is speaking to me - to us all - about the Beauty He has poured out over us! Inner & outer Beauty... we all should and do possess both! The question is... do we 'wear' this Beauty He has placed within us?

I am comfortable in the knowledge of intimacy with God. I know and understand that He desires me and that I bring Him joy. However, due to my own history and the familiar ways the enemy attacks me personally, I am most comfortable in thinking He loves me because of the inner working of His Spirit. You see, I spent my childhood very aware of the 'outward appearance' of things... I spent much time working on the outside and it wasn't until I was a new Christian at the ripe old age of 21 that I even thought of what may be going on on the inside of me. When I ran across the verse In 1 Samuel that says that God doesn't look on the outward appearance as man does - but He looks on the heart... my first reaction was, "Oh NO!??!?" I had some serious work to do... and luckily, by His Grace, we did it together... and continue to do so! I spent much of my early years as a new Christian pouring things into my heart and paying attention to that inward part of me that God was looking at! As a new wife, and then a new Mom, I found the inner work to be rewarding - and my focus on my outward appearance lessened. This was good... but not necessarily balanced!

The other day, as I was in prayer, I felt the Lord's Presence over me very strong... I knew He was wooing me and I did feel nearly dizzy by His Presence. Then I heard Him say, "I LIKE you, Karri, because of all we have in common! I enjoy your company, because you make me laugh, and we love the same things - that is what makes us Friends..." (AAaahhhh = that is SO SWEET!) But - He wasn't done... He went on to say "...But I LOVE you because you are MINE... and because you are Beautiful! There are things about you that draw my attention and stir my heart for you... inside and out!" Wow! OK... that makes sense - except for what my own insecure flesh says is true - you see, I am familiar with focusing on what's inside when it comes to the Lord! I spent my whole life, before coming to Christ, focusing on what the outside looked like. As a Christian, I clung to the truth of 1 Samuel 16:7... and now, He reveals that not only is He looking at my outward beauty - but that He is well-pleased with it?! How can that be, I wonder? I may not wear all those hats anymore - but I do juggle a lot of responsibilities and titles through out any given day! ...and yet, He sees through my tired and worn out facade, and He finds Beauty. He desires for me to find it as well... to 'put on that hat' and wear it with Grace!

He finds it in you, too! When we look at ourselves - we see all our imperfections, and failures... but when we remember to look at our lives through the eyes of Love... we see that we do, in fact, resemble His Beauty! He IS Beauty - and we are made in His image, of course! Ask Him what He finds beautiful in you... what is it that draws Him closer to you!? Of course we can list those spiritual things that we know get His attention... worship, faith, prayer, speaking forth the Word of God, ...but we must also remember that our earthly relationships and marriage is a picture of the Romance He desires to have with us... Maybe it's your smile that causes Him to draw near, or the way your eyes sparkle when you are talking about Him... or maybe it is the way you tilt your head back when you laugh...

I know it is not something we even think of in physical terms with God... we like to keep Him Spiritual... not interested in our fleshly body. Which - I believe - is still ultimately true... however - how we treat ourselves (and each other - especially as women!) stems from our own opinions of what we think of ourselves... if we could see that He looks on us in Love and finds Beauty deep within - as well as in the way He created us to look on the outside - we just might give out a bit more grace - and keep a little for ourselves as well!

So - how many hats do you wear?! What are you juggling that is draining your energy and joy!? Ask Him which one of those things He loves about you.... what 'hat' He adores... and what things in your daily life are good - but maybe not so vital to shine forth in beauty! If you ask Him... He will tell you! He will help you to know what hats to keep - and what hats to give away... ...and I believe He will lavish His great Love on you and Overwhelm you with His passion!
May you know how He finds you Captivating, Intoxicating, Lovely... May you put on that Hat of Beauty and wear it proudly in honor of Him!


Blog Archive