I am a worshiper... hands down. (well... uh - up, really! Hands lifted up!)
I, a writer and lover of words, can get lost in a lyric and be brought into His Presence in 3 seconds flat. It's my favorite way to settle myself and calm my mind... to silence my thoughts and re-center my focus.
I need it.
I am other things too, of course!
I am an intercessor... I love to pray. I have a gift of faith and will come into agreement with His Word and believe for miracles before I have finished my first cup of coffee. It's part of my DNA.
I have felt a call from God to live out consistently the 'tagline' if you will that He spelled out for me over the last several years... no matter what I do, who I am with, or where He leads me - every day, I am to
Speak Life. Be Love. Shine On.
Some days this flows naturally and it is easy (and I will admit that I have the luxury of working from home and so often, on those days - I have not left my front door!) On other days, it is more of a challenge - but one I am trying to stay aware of and rise up to meet on a consistent basis.
So when worship, and prayer, and speaking life (at least to myself) gets tough... I have learned to stop and pay attention.
I wrote recently about my Allume experience and how I felt a little disappointed. I had high hopes of really pouring out and for whatever reasons (some my own, some the enemies, and some His doing!) that didn't feel like it was accomplished. I came home unsure... foggy... and feeling a little let down.
I didn't really want to spend time with Him... I wasn't in the mood for worship or praying. I began to question if I hear from God ...if He could be trusted with my whole heart afterall... if He had any real intention of using me anywhere, ever, ever again!
I felt so invisible... and I've been shelved before... I have had a season of laying down giftings and ministry and having to walk away. Coming to the conclusion that it's ok if I am never asked to minister in that way again. It was a long and painful Getting There and I don't want to go around that mountain again! So I pray... and I ask Him to help me understand what the purpose was behind my less than stellar experience (and the lingering heavy after-effects!)
It was by no accident that He began luring me back to His heart through worship. I fought it... yeah, I can be stubborn like that and I was having a few trust issues with Him. I know that sounds silly - but it is true. It is true - but it is not TRUTH... and knowing the difference is what helped me to not harden my heart and to lean IN anyway!
I gave myself a little grace and a few days of pouting... I allowed myself days of quiet, but not quiet time - if you know what I mean! And then... when my heart was ready to be opened up again - I turned to worship. It's a powerful familiar tool that brings me right on in to His Presence.
It bows me down and lifts me up and while I tend to want to be prostrate... if I linger long enough, He always asks me to look up... to look into... to see and to be seen.
But I am ready... or at least I know I need to be and so I give in a little sooner than I want, and I bow down and give Him praise anyway... even when my heart is not completely feeling like I am in agreement with the words that my lips are singing... I sing it out all the more because while they don't feel true... I know that the words are Truth and oh how I need them!
Then our meeting flows from worship music to Word and how the speaker quotes Francis Frangipane in saying something about how if there is any area in your life 'that doesn't glisten with hope, then you are believing a lie and that area is a stronghold of the devil in your life' and oh how I could feel the ties that bind getting tighter!
I'm almost afraid to ask... the idea is to pray and ask God if there is an area... ask Him to shed light on the lie... to restore hope, and who doesn't want that?
But Glisten? That's a lot of hope! I like to think that I am a faith girl... encouraging and sparkly - shining bright for Jesus... but do I GLISTEN?
When I think of 'glisten', I think of persperation and a little hard work and who among us hasn't had to fight to hang on to a little hope?
Sometimes it's easy and we're blessed and we know it! We count on with ease...
And sometimes it's a battle and a choice and when we are willing to do the work and stand on His side, victorious, we shine... we glisten...
The evening service went on as God began to shift and shed light and speak to me. My doubts were being washed away and He was assuring me once again that He has a plan and He is never unaware.
Towards the end of the meeting I encountered God and with my eyes closed, I 'saw' Him gave me two things... first, Jesus handed me a gift to unwrap. It was a megaphone that was 'blank' - all plain white on the outside, but it came with markers to write on it - and use it! He whispered, "I've given you a voice!"
Then, I saw the Father lean in and He whispered straight into my heart. Among other (personal) things, He said that I was a reflection of His heart and His Joy and He said that He is calling me to be a mirror of Him to those who feel invisible.
Aaaah- and there it is!
With that one visual, I found peace. I found understanding and comfort in knowing that my feeling invisible at Allume was not punishment or merely an attack... it was for a greater purpose and oh how we like to forget that sometimes that He chooses to teach us these Truths through hard lessons! That everything He asks of us is not always fun or easy!
Another definition of Glisten is: 'to give off a sparkling or lustrous reflection of...'
Hmmm... to mirror. To Shine.
One of the (many) benefits of living Free is that you recognize sooner when you are not walking in freedom! The choice is still yours what you will do with that knowledge but it's for freedom that we've been set free!
I knew I was pushing God away... I knew I was not leaning IN... I knew I was believing a lie... I knew what felt true, and what (Who) was Truth were not matching up.
It felt familiar... that building up a wall of self-protection. I've been there before... but you build and build and find yourself locked in, and locked out, on the wrong side.
Sometimes it requires work to dismantel a lie... to tear down a wall. But if you are willing, you just may discover along with a bit of persperation, you will find a little Glistening Hope being restored!
(...and who doesn't want that?)
Linking up with Barbie over at The Weekend Brew