Thursday, July 25, 2019

Solitude Soldier No More


Imagine you are watching the movie Braveheart and it gets to that famous Battle of Stirling scene.  The Scottish were outnumbered 3 to 1 by the English army so already the odds were against them.  But they were fighting together; fighting for freedom.  

What would you think if you were watching that scene and William Wallace did nothing to stop the discouraged Scottish soldiers from leaving the battle? What if there was no famous "FREEDOM" speech, but instead William Wallace went alone to battle the English army in that scene?  Would you find William Wallace stupid? crazy? arrogant?  Would you turn it off?  Would you be curious as to why he felt like he needed to battle alone instead of recruiting to stay?  Who would ever make a movie like that?  Who would ever fight a battle like that alone?


Well today God opened my eyes to see that this ridiculous scene of battling alone has been me the past 9 years.  I have been battling for the freedom of souls lost to darkness and the freedom of souls in captivity to injustice but haven’t asked people to pray with me and for me.  I’ve been severely injured from this battle too and that’s probably why I hid in Montana for 2 years doubting everything I ever believed or experienced.  

This morning God revealed to me why I have been barely surviving in ministry since I began full time in 2010. The reason I say I am battling alone is because I haven't asked people to partner with me in prayer, the most powerful weapon I posses, to battle in places I cannot physically see.  I've asked people to join me in other ways but prayer should have been the first partnership I extended to those who wanted to come alongside me in this ministry because "PRAYER PRECEDES ANY MOVEMENT FROM GOD" (Guil).  My mentor Merrie says, "If I desire to see anything happen here in this natural realm I need to get it started in the spiritual realm first."



I’ve seen God do so much already so I can’t even imagine what He will do now that I‘m inviting people to join me in prayer.   When I’ve come together to pray with others I’ve seen God move in incredible ways, but then in my own life and personal ministry I’ve been wondering where my breakthrough is.  I’ve literally depleted everything to 0 and taped out every resource.

Reflecting back on this week I see how things were leading up to this moment. I had a friend ask me what she could do to help me and I was literally shocked.  No one has ever asked me that.  It took me 2 days to think of a way she could help me.  A few days before that, in a quiet time, God spoke these words, “If I am ever to be raised up it must be by the Hand of God.  God can do nothing for me until I get to the limit of my possible.”  I wondered what “my possible” looked like cause I felt like I had already passed that limit.  But now I see God was getting my attention to invite others to join me through prayer. 

All this time I have thought if people wanted to help they would ask.  But I realized that people do want to help.  When you don’t ask for help people just assume you got it all figured out and they don’t ask how they can help or how they can pray for you.  I hear all the time “Rachael you are so independent.” But I honestly don’t feel independent.  On the outside it looks like I am independent but people don't see the sorrow and desperation I am facing on the inside, desperately dependent to partner with people.  But not wanting to bother them to get a job done I just did what I had to do (how prideful).  I was just doing what I thought I needed to do to survive and help others but what I needed was a community of people coming alongside me, praying with me and for me.



So I implore you today, if you would like to partner with me in prayer, and become a regular champion of this fight for freedom, please send me a message and let me know.  It's a matter of me not only needing you but wanting you to champion this fight with me.  I’m not really sure how to go about this new partnership but I’m sure the Lord will lead and I welcome any ideas to communicate these prayer requests. 

Maybe you too find yourself in this same situation.  If this is you then I encourage you to reach out and ask for prayer.  You can even reach out to me.  Just please don’t battle alone anymore! 




Friday, July 19, 2019

Peace from Childlike Faith


How awesome is childhood? I mean think about yours for a moment.  For most of us childhood was peaceful, easy, carefree when you compare it to being an adult.  (When I say childhood I mean like 11 and under). As an adult I often find myself admiring the joy of children and find their freedom, innocence, humor, and way of thinking refreshing.  But it wasn’t till recently that I realized what it takes for them to be able to live that way.  

I was discussing this with a friend at Lake Eola a few weeks ago and it was in this conversation that God opened my eyes to this incredible AH! HA! moment of child like faith that I have been pondering all month.  After a month of pondering this I firmly believe that the carefree life of a child is possible for me and anyone else who is an adult Christian.  I love this quote from Ravi Zacharias, “The tragedy with growing up is not that we loose childishness in its simplicity but that we loose childlikeness in its sublimity.” 

When you are a child life is free to be innocent, joyful, carefree because mom and dad take care of EVERYTHING!  Not one need is left ignored, as the children are fully dependent on their parents.  Children also feel safe because their parents protect them.  Children are also free to be curious.  They have a lot of questions, as they desire to grow in wisdom of how things work around them and why things happen.  A good parent won’t be upset to answer those questions but will have the wisdom necessary to answer them in a way the child can understand.

These same characteristics spill over to me as an adult walking in my Christian faith.  So many times I try to take care of things on my own and I get worried or stressed when money is tight one month.  Or I put an alarm on my house cause I’m worried about being robbed.  Or I buy extra insurance on expensive gadgets or my car cause I’m worried about them being damaged or being stolen.  And worries about life and things just keep adding up and distracting me from fulfilling my purpose because I'm so obsessed by them and for what reason!!?  I fear losing things that I will loose anyway when I die cause they won’t go with me into eternity.

But the reality of my faith is that God is my good Father and I must live like a child to receive the inheritance He has for me (Matt 18:3) Just as everything I owned as a child belonged to my parents, everything I own as a child of God belongs to Him.  It is necessary for me to live fully dependent on Him so I can focus on JUST LIVING, (actually living). I can have confidence that He is watching over me, protecting me and will provide.  When I am actually living a life that is fully dependent on God I can truly live in the peace and freedom of the call He has placed on my life and be available to help others when needed. 


But check this out!  Jesus also says “whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”  (Matthew 18:4) Did you see that?  People who humble themselves like a child, fully dependent on God, curious to ask Him questions and grow in His wisdom, are considered greater in the kingdom where we spend ETERNITY!!  They trust without questioning, simply and gladly believing His word without doubt.

And then Jesus says, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me” (Matthew 18:5).  I’m really not sure the theological context of this verse but as I prayed this is what I believe the Spirit was revealing to me.  In all my years of sharing Jesus with people I can honestly tell you I have much more success when I’m depending on God fully instead of myself.  When I’m not acting all “super religious and super righteous” but just being genuine like a child.  When I’m not trying to persuade people with my fancy words of wisdom rather instead just living a simply, generous, carefree life in the call He has placed on it.  I’m more successful in my call when I am living fully dependent on Him.

So I end with this, A CALL TO GENEROSITY as a child of God.  Live simply so others might simply live.  When God blesses you however He chooses; be it with time, knowledge, finances, or material possessions, don’t use it as an opportunity to raise your standard of living but rather an opportunity to raise your standard of giving.   Good parents teach their children to share.  God is a good Father, and He blesses us as His children because He desires for us to share with others in an attempt to grow the Kingdom.


Friday, June 21, 2019

So Much To Be Thankful For

-->
             Psalm 23 is a chapter in the Bible that is very familiar with Christians all over the world.  I myself memorized it at the age of 5.  So when I decided to make gratitude a habit for this month and focus on gratitude from a biblical standpoint, I was a little perplexed that this was the first place God lead me to study.  I didn’t really understand but His Spirit encouraged me to look at this chapter from the lens of gratitude!  I was completely blown away at the affects gratitude can have on my life from this chapter after doing so.  Here is what I found.


Verse 1 - GRATEFUL FOR THE BLESSINGS IN FRONT OF ME

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

            When I have an attitude of gratitude I’m not stressed about obtaining the material things I want because I’m focused on how God, my Shepherd, has provided for all my needs.  I notice amazing things going on in my life when I am grateful instead of noticing the amazing things going on in other people’s lives that I want but don’t have.  When I focus on my wants I miss the blessing right in front of me.  God has already taken care of my needs. 


Verse 2 – GRATEFUL THAT I DON’T HAVE TO FIGURE IT ALL OUT

“He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.”

            He leads me to the provisions, to the open floodgates where my supply is never ending.  He wants to meet my needs, desires, and wants but I must step back and allow Him to do so.  I need to stop getting ahead of God by thinking I know the right direction to the ample supply He has for me, and start following Him there. 



Verse 3,4 – GRATEFUL THAT GOD TAKES CARE OF IT ALL

“He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil,
 for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

            Living righteously isn’t boring!  Trust me!  If you know my life story you know I am evidence of this.  In fact, living for God is an adventure because God’s power can and will do incredible things in my life when I let it!  He is a big God. 

            But I haven’t always lived righteously.  What I’ve noticed since being right with God again is the incredible peace I have from this restored relationship.  I don’t have to worry about anything, my needs, my enemies, my failures, my social status or my reputation.  He takes care of it all and He vindicates me.  I don’t have to worry about my future, death, evil, or sadness even though those things will come my way.  He promises to always come to my rescue. 

            He allows those things to come into my life so I see my need for Him and relinquish the control I’ve given myself over my life.  This world will hurt me because it is broken.  But I don’t have to allow the brokenness of this world to break me because I can look with gratitude on every season and circumstance.  By doing this I am able to see how He is working and how I am growing and learning.  With that gratitude will come a restoration of my soul out of the ashes.

  
Verse 5 – GRATEFUL FOR HAVING ENEMIES

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

            It is easy to show kindness or gratitude towards those who love me, but what about my enemies?  David wrote this Psalm and he had many enemies.  People he thought he was close to tried to kill him or take away his rightful God anointed position.  But God always took care of David.  His cup was never dry and he learned many things from the hardships his enemies caused him.  When I am in the midst of my enemies I have a heightened awareness of my fears, doubts, and what is going on around me, I’m more self-aware.

            When God delivered David’s enemies over into David’s hands he chose to allow God to vindicate him instead of vindicating himself.  Planted in the house of the Lord the righteous man will flourish regardless of what is around him.  The enemies of the Lord will perish. 


Verse 6 – GRATEFUL FOR THE PROMISE

“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

            Gratitude is the gateway to the dwelling place of the Lord.  It’s the gateway to being blessed.  It’s the gateway to love, acceptance and many good things in life. 


               So I end by asking this question, what are you grateful for today?  Today I am grateful for God’s truth and how He desires to reveal it to a willing heart that’s ready to learn and open to change.



Wednesday, March 13, 2019

You Don't Have To Feel Judged


I’ve been pondering this question lately.  If God is love why do people constantly feel judged by Him? I was lead to John 3:1-21 this morning and this is what I realized about judgment. 

God sent His Son into the world because of His love for the world and desire to restore the relationship He once had with humans at the beginning of Creation. He didn’t send His Son to judge the world but sent His son because of His love for the world. (John 3:17)  So if Jesus purpose was not to bring judgment why do people still feel judged by God?  

It is because the world got used to living in darkness and Jesus brought Light.  God sent His Son, Jesus, to save us from eternal separation from Him, eternal darkness.  Jesus came to earth with the Light so He could expel the darkness in our lives.  But men like the darkness because the Light exposed their deeds.  Their pride and fear has kept them in darkness instead of choosing the love that comes from the Light. (John 3: 18-20)

But what people in darkness need to understand is that God doesn’t care what we have done, He just wants us back.  Our pride keeps us from returning to Him when we choose to remain in darkness instead of embrace the Light of His love and forgiveness.  People who choose to love evil hate the Light and accept judgment for themselves instead of love.  They choose to live for self instead of being restored into union with God and by doing so choose to feel judged.  They don’t see a need for rescue and by choosing to live in darkness choose to feel judged. 

People who choose to live in darkness are afraid of the consequences they may face by stepping into the Light of God’s love, forgiveness, and restored relationship with Him.  But what they don’t realize is once they finally walk out of darkness, and into Light, it is only then that the consequence of this decision are forgotten because they see they see the Truth and benefits the Light brings.  They see the need for the Light.  Once they decide to step into the Light they are finally able to live fully loved and fully known by God.  Once they step into the Light they are finally free!

The choice is yours.  If you want to step out of the darkness of judgment and into the Light of Love, message me and we can talk more. 
Related image