August 8, 2016

The Kingdom Way to Breathe...


I have been encountering God in the deep lately.  

As in, literally, in the deep... 



And the irony is not lost on me. 

You see, I have this fear of deep waters. I'm not sure where it came from but I have always battled a fear of water. 

I LOVE the beach and find peace and rest on a shore - whether it be ocean, inlet, or riverbank... but take me out to where my feet won't reach the bottom, well... (Cue "Oceans" song here...) I'm not a fan.

I get a little twitchy with a case of side-eye and I may hyperventilate or be prone to desperate bouts of praying in the Spirit (--which spirit, it's hard to tell.)

I am so aware that I am not in control and that I am being forced to trust. That whole sense of adventure and play evaporates like good intentions on a slow, sunny, summer afternoon!



So the fact that He is calling us out into the Deep... well, it stretches me --but I can never say no to Him! 

Oh - I can want to... but He's just so convincingly Good...


All of that to say this:

A couple of weeks ago, during a worship service at a conference, I found myself gasping for air and wondering why it felt as if my lungs were filling with water. 

And then this happened: 
As posted on facebook - because that is how grown up's process things now:
"Last night during worship at Worldcast, I had a vision/experience that I wanted to try to find (brief) words for. Imagine if you will what it looks and feels like to dive down into deep water... that feeling of just breaking the surface and then being immersed into a completely different atmosphere. You have to hold your breath and the time you can spend there is limited. During worship I had that same sensation but instead of me jumping down, the 'water'/atmosphere was coming down all around me. I could feel the break over my head and to my shoulders and then it would lift. I felt like I needed to hold my breath because it felt heavy and thick like water.
I heard God whisper, "I AM the breath in your lungs... (Referring to one of my favorite worship songs) but I am not Oxygen, I am the Living Water and you can breath me in. I am teaching you how to breathe differently in this atmosphere because this is what it feels like to bring Heaven to earth."
I began to breath deep and was getting a little frustrated that it would only go to my shoulders! "I want to go all in, Lord!" I cried out. He said, "Lift your hands, and dive!" and suddenly it felt as if I was being pushed up from one realm to another... birthed into the Kingdom, so to speak.
We are called to shift the atmosphere and to release heaven on earth but there is coming a time, and it is now, that He will teach us a new way of breathing so that we can stay immersed and saturated, wherever we go!
For the King and for His Kingdom..."

As I typed this out on facebook, I was reminded of a vision I had back in 2011. I had to rummage through stacks of journals to find it but find it, I did!  Way back then, you know-- five years ago, this is what He showed me:
"While spending time in worship, I saw myself dancing. At first I thought I was just seeing vivid colors but I then realized that I was dancing under water. Gravity was not holding me back and I could flow and jump, twist and leap and spin, without any hindrances.  It was so beautiful, graceful, and peaceful.  Then I saw myself back up on the waters' surface, floating.  I appeared to be stranded in the middle of the ocean and in the natural, it seemed dangerous and hopeless with no land in sight. However, if I would just dive down deeper, things looked totally different. The surface of the water is all that separates two worlds: the natural (where Fear rules and reigns) and the spiritual (where Peace and Grace embrace you.) From the perspective of the natural - Risk looks like opportunity for failing, but from the perspective of the spiritual, Risk is Grace in motion.
The other thing that stood out to me is that the surface is SO thin. It's such a small barrier that separates! There is a way to break through that is smooth, calm, and graceful... or you can dive in, crashing the surface where you feel pain and create a disturbance. Both ways get you below the surface, into a different world, but one is more powerful and it depends on your perspective on which one you think that is! It made me think of watching the Olympic Diving competition.  So much focus is on form and technique -yet a lot of the score is dependent on the Splash created (or lack thereof) when they dive through the surface into the pool.  The smaller the splash, the better the dive!
Fast forward back to last week. 

Lately, my Honey and I have been praying for dreams as we drift off to sleep.  You know, as in the book of Joel kind of dreams.  I experience visions when I am awake, but seldom remember any of my dreams.  But we decided we wanted to experience more and so you know the drill. You have not because you ask not and all that jazz. 

So we started asking.


And last week, I woke up after a very short, very vivid dream and thought: "Alrighty then... here we go!"

This is what I saw in my dream:
I saw three distinct scenes, one after another with simply a bright flash of light in between.  
The first scene was from the shoreline, looking out to sea. Suddenly, I saw two whales breaching in the horizon.  They were close enough to see, but I was on the sand, and they were in the deep.  I immediately thanked the Lord for letting me see them! They were incredible... such a wonder and beauty to see!

{Flash of Light}  
The second scene was seeing myself swim with dolphins in a closed in area. They were so playful and fun! Again I immediately thanked God for letting me swim with them and experience such wonder and joy.

{Flash of Light}
The third and last scene was seeing myself in scuba gear and deep sea diving down in the Deep.  It was magical and so full of color and vibrancy... everywhere I swam, the sea life followed and surrounded me. Again, in breathless wonder, I thanked the Lord for allowing me to experience this... to be surrounded by such wonder and beauty!
{End of Dream} 
I woke up and asked the Father what it meant right away.

He said, "The Kingdom is at hand... it is all around you.  You are free to experience any and all three of these scenes! Signs and Wonders can be experienced far off, safe on dry ground... in a secluded, secured area, or you are invited to dive down deep and learn a new way to breathe.  Wherever you go, signs and wonders can follow!"

Well, I don't know about you but I know about me.  

This is the cry of my heart! Not that I would chase after signs or wonders. 

No. Not that.  

But that I would chase after HIM, and signs and wonders would simply flow out of that... that they would follow me as I follow Him!

On Sunday, during worship once again, I had a simple flash of a picture... we were singing O The Deep and I saw a Mama Duck with all of her babies in a row, single file, behind her.  She stopped and gathered them to her side, lining them up on either side of her and with her wings outstretched she led them to walk WITH her, by her side... and she led them over the edge into the deep.

I think maybe Jesus is trying to tell us something, you guys!

I think maybe He really IS calling us out into the Deep.  But He is going with us... He is by our side...and He is teaching us how to breathe underwater... how to fill our lungs with Living Water and how to function in a way that we remain saturated with His Kingdom Presence wherever we go.




I can hear Him calling... 
"Just Jump! Dive in deep and you will land in My loving arms and I will fill your lungs with a new kind of air and I will show you great and mighty things which you do not know!" (Jer 33:3)





P.S.  I'm linking up with these lovely writers:

Kelly Chripczuk  for #SmallWonders 

Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday


Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp

Lori Schumaker for #MomentsofHope


Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory








19 comments :

  1. I love that God speaks to us in different ways. Very rarely have I had an experience like you describe, but reading this encourages me! Here's to going where He goes!

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    1. Amen, sweet friend! Where He leads, I will follow... you know, like the Gilmore Girls! lol!

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  2. Love this post on many levels! I share your fear if deep water, so I can definitely relate. Learning a new way to breathe ... that really hits me because after almost two years of feeling like I am drowning I think I am learning a new way to breathe.

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    1. Amen, Melissa! You know - I realized yesterday as I was writing this post that about a month or so ago, I got really sick and it took me a LONG time to fully recover and to literally feel like I could get a full breath. I commented during that time often that it felt like I had water in my lungs. I didn't... and I would never suggest that God would make us sick - but recalling what it felt like physically helped me to put words to it when it was happening again during that worship service. The funny (?) thing is the gal that was standing next to me that night had to sit down because she said that she couldn't breathe. I think He really is teaching us a new way to breathe... and to thrive and not drown! I am believing that for you in this new season! xoxo

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  3. I am no fan of deep water myself! I enjoy the sound of the ocean but only from a beach. I love the thought of a kingdom way to breathe. As I navigate through this transformation in Christ,I sometimes cannot believe it's me. I hunger for God's word and I enjoy going to church for worship, and most important I love sharing my faith. If I thought about it too much I would hyperventilate myself but I am learning to rest in Christ. He teaches me everyday to live for Him and that gives me peace. Thanks for sharing your thoughts today. The pictures are amazing! I hope you have a wonderful week and may God richly bless you and yours!

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    1. Me, too, Horace - and i love that line: He will teach me to breathe underwater.
      Not in our make up - we are not fish! But when God leads, we follow!

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    2. I love this... Horace, yes - He teaches us everyday how to live for Him... love that we are diving in deep together! And Sue... we are not fish... but what can we do? If He is leading us to live underwater... He will fill our lungs with Living Water and teach us to breathe because He knows wherever He goes, we will follow!

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  4. The dreams you share remind me of a phrase that has always captured me: holy imagination. God gave us such an amazing gift of physical and spiritual sight. He's also giving us the wonder of activating our imagination with His wonder. I'm not sure exactly how God gives dreams like this, but I can't help but think He is activating a part of our spirit's imagination that only His Spirit can activate. Just wondering.

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    1. Amen and Amen, Ginger! God DID give us our imagination, and He longs to play with us... I think we all could hear and see Him more clearly if we would be open up our imagination! I know we have scared away from that because, you know, New Age and such... but I have the mind of Christ and I trust that when I am in prayer and He is speaking to me, He is able to cover and protect me and I know that He would never contradict His word. So if I ever 'hear' or 'see' anything that I'm not sure about, I go to the Word in prayer. (Just wondering, too! As in - Full of Wonder-ing!) ;)

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  5. Oh, Karrilee, I love what God is doing and how He is calling us to go deep with Him. I've had those moments of worship, but not every day. I want to dive deep daily! Thanks so much for sharing your heart. It's beautiful.

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    1. You and me both, Kelly! Diving Deep and looking for the edge every day! xoxo

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  6. Karrilee, I love this post-- the beautiful images you describe -- so visual, I feel like I'm there experiencing it with you...Worshipping with you..."it's Your breath in my lungs so I pour out my praise to You"...many blessings to you ❤️

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    1. Amen! That is the song, my friend! Thanks so much for stopping by... for diving deep!

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  7. Read every word and still hung up "you have not because you ask not."

    Joel
    me
    ask
    xo

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    1. Right? Why do we forget this? xoxo

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  8. Ah yes, He is calling us out into new dimensions of His love and grace. Really good and encouraging words, Kar.

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    1. Thanks, Syl! Missed you guys today... caught up on Voxer and am praying with you both! Love you!

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  9. What beautifully vivid visions God has given you! I love that He speaks to you in that way! What a gift! Thank you for sharing this powerful hope. The hope to dive in. Go deeper because He is always alongside us and when we follow Him He will reveal Himself!!

    Thank you, friend, for joining me at #MomentsofHope!

    Hugs,
    Lori

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    1. Amen! He is so gracious to invite us in! He waits for us to say yes! Diving deeper with you, friend! Thankful for the community that you gather and the Hope that is given there!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!
~Karrilee~

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