Stones, Rocks, Pebbles, Boulders of life.
In 2004, I had a blood clot(s) which embolized through my heart and lungs. I was fortunate those “stones” passed - and I didn't.
Even though I survived, our much anticipated family vacation out West was in jeopardy. A long drive was not the best therapy for healing arteries and veins.
After a few weeks, I determined it was one of those "D" days for me - do or die. I had babied myself enough and figured, if I could endure some exercise and work in the yard, I'd be OK for the trip. I was in that mode of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". Since it didn’t kill me, we went on that trip. I fondly recall my climb to the top of a rock in Zion National Park where I proudly stood upon a beautiful red rock with my arms raised high in the air in praise.
What is remarkable is that Jesus knows how much I love rocks. A few years ago, I began to believe His promise, that “My sheep hear my voice…” (John 10:27). I committed regular quiet time to seek Him. Soon, I began to hear Him speak to my heart! Not only could I hear Him, I could fix my eyes on Him and tune into and feel the flow of his promise of living water. Jesus promised us, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink, He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, from his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-38)
A second witness of my experiences occurred as I sought further teaching and insight about prayer and hearing God's voice. This led me to the teachings of Dr. Mark Virkler and to refine my process to include journaling. Dr. Virkler refers to these steps as the “4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice” and supports this also with scripture.
Habakkuk 2: 1-2
I've included a link at the bottom to learn more. It's awesome!
When Jesus is in the picture, we can trust and enjoy healing and peace. His love and guidance is specific, offers hope, and speaks to places within that only He knows how. Making sure Jesus is always in the picture, He takes me to places and speaks words which heal old heart wounds at a pace only He knows I can handle. These visions have greatly enhanced my life bringing new peace and trust I have never known before.
Approximately 1/3 of the Holy Bible includes dreams and visions. So, that must mean they are pretty important. It's not just for prophets or priests or leadership, but for ALL his sheep. I mean, truly, haven't you found yourself waking up with a song playing in your head. Think about it. Your heart and your spirit is always awake. Perhaps you were worshipping God with the angels. Maybe those dreams are a message for you. I'll address dreams in another blog though.
Is this really Biblical? Some might say such experiences is New Age. I have learned in my own life and in further prayer and study that the difference is that New Age will entertain ANY spiritual experience meaning you will get mixed up signals. That means demonics too! I sure don't want any of that. I want only what God offers as He reinforces over and over in the Bible. It is no wonder that the enemy, satan himself, would want to corrupt dreams and visions for us so that we miss such an amazing opportunity to commune with God. Yes, time with Jesus is completely Biblical, and, certainly, Jesus is the greatest teacher. While Jesus is specific in vision He also spoke in parables to reinforce the importance of imagery. His stories will pull our minds to that well, that field, that multiplication of fishes and loaves. Picture language is the language of God! Can't you see it! If we keep our eyes on Jesus, we are safe.
As I try to quiet down, often in my favorite "prayer chair," I will place myself in various places. It is quite often on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. One morning, the Lord joined me on the seashore of the Sea of Galilee and began to pick up and skip rocks. He did not say anything but continued to skip them in great fun. I picked up a few rocks and began to skip them also. I felt a sudden release of stress and found myself like a child again.
My heart was further lifted as my mind noted cares needing release to Jesus. It was wonderful! He has reinforced that worry and fear are the opposite of faith and are contrary to any useful purpose. Growing in Christ, I began to cling to the comfort of His promises as well as those of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:6-7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” I learned to quote scripture in my trials to push the enemy back from my mind as well as to allow Christ to renew my mind. (Ephesians 4:23)
Life's challenges, and sometimes Jesus' testing and growing me, can put me up to the shoreline to choose whether to release my cares to Him. On numerous occasions, Jesus has given me a mental visual flashback to the rock skipping scene. Sometimes that's enough to let go.
As I was growing in more regular release of my anxiety to the Lord, a new issue arose that "rocked” my newfound paradigm. Even though I knew the issue was a test, my soul willfully suffered several days before I released it to the Lord. Then, the Lord spoke to my heart and said,
edIsn't God a true wordsmith! He speaks and the whole world is formed.(Genesis 1:3) He speaks and we are healed. (Matthew 9:6-8)
On another occasion on the Sea of Galilee, I found the Lord sitting on a buck board wagon along the shore. As we traveled the rocky shoreline, I asked the Lord why we were taking such a bumpy and slow ride. Jesus replied,
“Sometimes our travel is over rough rocks,
It was not until a few weeks later that I understood what the Lord meant. More inner healing came as some tough "rocks" Jesus had prepared to help me release. He patiently did a work in me to set me free of some buried rocks of guilt and shame.
Spending quiet time with the Lord is the best part of my day. He is a Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6) who brings healing to my heart. I pray you also enjoy that time and can hear His voice. I pray you consider those “rocks” you may be holding onto that are weighing you down. Get free! Surrender them to Jesus and live in His abundance and grace. Accept what Jesus will offer you as He will surely offer help to smooth out the rough edges of your heart. Life struggles to grow from stony ground. Cling to the one true rock - Jesus Christ. (Psalm 18:2)
If you are still not sure how to release your burdens to God, open your whole heart to Him and just starting talking to Him. Pray for Him to lead you to wise counselors who can come alongside you in your faith journey. Smile and let God have your heart. He created it. He can fix it.
Happy skipping! God bless you!
As I spend quiet time with the Lord, I often hear a thought bubble up in my mind. As I pray and ponder it, it grows and sometimes becomes something to release. That’s the case with this post.
In this first part regarding “dry bones,” found in Ezekiel 37: 1-14, the Lord carries Ezekiel away in a vision to see a valley of dry of bones. The Lord then instructs Ezekiel what to and then to prophesy over the bones. The bones come alive again as God breathes life back into the Israelites’ restored bodies. Doesn't that sound worth reading! I’ve copied that at the bottom. Check it out and come back.
Historically, we are met in a place of woe for the Israelites. At this point, the Israelites had been taken into captivity by the Babylonians with no end in sight. Through this event, God breathes hope back into their world with a promise that this people would be restored.
Eventually, Babylon was conquered by the Persians. Under the reign of King Cyrus of Persia, the Jews were permitted in 538 BC to return and rebuild Jerusalem only for this to be torn down by the Romans later. Jewish persecution continues. The Holocaust marks a more recent event with continued hate crimes today. The enemy, known as satan, hates Israel and continues to twist and manipulate world events against God’s chosen people. Yet, we can be assured that God and His people will prevail. The Lord also beckons us in Psalm 122:6 to pray for His people: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.”
Now, we could leave it right there and consider it a beautiful story of hope. Yet, it’s time to go further to how this might fit our lives. Thanks to an excellent professor of mine, Dr. Rodney Allen, I learned how to be challenged to go beyond text to make meaning of it for my life and my students’ lives. To do this with Bible text is awesome and follows the promise of being "alive and active" and, "It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together......" (Hebrews 4:12)
So, here we go…………
* What parts of your life have dried up or are shriveling as dry bones?
* Where have you found yourself in your own mess and not relying on God and His Word with His hope?
* Are you feeling despair, fear, anger, guilt, and/or shame?
These are not God’s intentions for your life but the lie of the enemy. Whatever it is, know we all have challenges and make messes. One of my many messes is below in testimony at the bottom.
God created us to “live” as noted in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
When we look around in just our will and mind and wallow in our own emotions, we are not living in the light of what God has for us. Our minds and souls are part of our carnal existence and limited by our own resolve which is not even a flicker of what it can be with God as we seek His thoughts, will, and intentions.
To those in despair, depressed, broken, lift up your eyes and surrender your heart to God, and He will help you to “live again”.
We all have a sense about the turn of events going horribly. When you notice that, turn it around with:
* SURRENDER! The battle is too heavy for you to carry alone. Lift your voice up to God in prayer to seek His help, His counsel.
* Dust off your Bible and read it with a fever. Get hungry and ask God to reveal His Word to your heart. Ask for God to make you hungry for His word!
You must also turn around any negative thoughts, actions, or words in your life. They are death to your bones!
Don’t believe me?
Proverbs 17:22 - A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
* Declare Jeremiah 29:11 or any other life-giving scripture into your life
* The world is quite noisy. How can you hear God in the noise? Find time to quiet yourself and then, as you look for the Lord, listen for what He says back. He will lead and guide you through your valley of dry bones. Through Jesus Christ, any dry bones of our lives – our mistakes, our pain, our sorrow, can be revived to a place of faith, hope, and love. We can grow and have joy in the peace that only the Lord can give.
May the Lord bless and keep you and heal you. Give it to Him and allow Him to knit your dry bones to life. In the mighty and victorious name of Jesus Christ. Amen
My Dry Bones: The year 2005 marks a year my "bones" were nearly dry. I had done life my way for so long and found myself in the 24th year of a toxic marriage that I did not know how to fix. Physical illness and depression heaped upon me. The anti-depressants did not fix but numbed the pain. In an 18-month time period, I had a blood clot which embolized through my heart and lungs followed by two other major surgeries. In my despair, I actually said the words out loud, “I’m dying.” That same night of my declaration, I prayed with my whole and broken heart asking God to help me. You know, that REALLY gut-wrenching kind.
That night, I had the most beautiful dream where I felt peace of the Lord. This was the beginning of a new walk into light, still full of mistakes, but with a new faith. It was not easy to uncover the years of pain and cloudy thinking and to grow in relationship with Jesus. It took exposing my pride, guilt, shame, and cleaning up my stinking thinking from being in a swarm of legalistic religious ideas. Walking out was tough – forgiveness was tougher.
I spent several years in self-righteous living trying to prove I was right. The Lord was merciful to me and continued to work in my heart. With each step, He put out another challenge for me to walk and grow in my faith in Him. Pivotal changes occurred as I began to forgive and surrender my life to Jesus Christ. Ongoing, the enemy wanted to throw lots of roadblocks out there with his lies and attacks. I do not expect anything less for we know he seeks to "steal, kill, and destroy." (john 10:10) He hates it when we are recovering for he has to work harder to pull us down again.
In an almost incomprehensible manner, I grow to experience more joy and peace as I walk with Jesus Christ and put my trust in Him. I know He is my Redeemer and will finish the work in me, in us all, that He started. (Philippians 1:6) I believe He will pick up anyone in their dry bones and breathe His life back into you according to His will and purpose for our lives. It may not, and probably won't, look like we think, or be all that we want, but God is there and will extend his love and peace - and understanding. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)
Ezekiel 37: 1-14 (New King James Version)
1 The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed, they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
So, I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”
4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
9 Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ’ ” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’”
These words were spoken by God to Adam and Eve as they were explaining why they had made clothing out of fig leaves. (verse 7)
Adam and Eve had bought lies from the serpent/satan then found themselves with their "eyes fully opened", feeling shame for the first time, afraid for the first time, and
playing the blame game. (Verses 7-13)
So who told them they were naked?
If you read Genesis 3 carefully, no one. Adam's own conscience/eyes opened, convicted him. (Verse 9 - "And he(Adam) said, 'I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.'"
From the very beginning, satan has lied to us and to try to make us feel ashamed and fearful.
Oh, no he doesn't!
God's got this covered.
For a brief moment, the "covering" from God was off because two people (Adam and Eve) believed satan's lie. They were now facing the worst - spiritual death - the big over and done! But, God is Sovereign and promptly covered that.
Now, there were some pretty serious consequences. Moving out of the Garden of Eden and working the cursed land had to be tough. Not to mention the entry of pain to women in childbirth to which I've experienced four times! Yet, God provided a new physical "covering" in the coats of skins and clothed them. (verse 21) Now, could God have just snapped His fingers and produced skins? Sure. Either way, those skins probably came from an animal. From here forward, there is much in the Old Testament about animal sacrifices.
It would appear some of the first animals were used by God to cover his children as they transitioned out of the Garden. Was there a huge time break in this? The Bible does not indicate but seems to be a flowing story of fall, skins, and out you go. It doesn't seem to matter in the outcome of the story. What is awesome to note is God's swift action which seems symbolic of His continued protection and provision.
The sacrifices continued throughout the Old Testament as types and shadows of the ultimate sin offering of Jesus on the cross. (Hebrews 10:1) Jesus came to earth as a man, and by his willful shedding of His innocent blood on the cross, He became the forever complete and full sacrifice. (Hebrews 9:12)
Yes, Jesus' sacrifice completely replaced the Old Testament blood covenant. From the very moment of Christ's death, the temple veil, signifying the place of old sacrifice, was torn in two (Matthew 27:51) because "It is finished" (John 19:30) Jesus "sat down on the right hand of Majesty" (Hebrews 1:3)
I really appreciate that God cared so much for Adam and Eve, and all of us, that He did not leave them alone and uncovered.
He covered them.
He covered the Israelites of the Old Testament
He covers us all!
By accepting Jesus as our Lord and only way to eternal life, we become covered by the blood of Jesus shed from the cross. There is no more atonement needed. Jesus got on that cross one time for all the sins of past, present, and future. He is not bound by time and space. Not only that, Jesus provided the way to cast out demons and heal the sick and to live an abundant life. (Matthew 10:8)
IF anyone tries to strip you of your wholeness through shame, blame, or guilt, we know where that started and it certainly wasn't from God (Romans 8:1).
IF anyone suggests illness is a way of our existence, that is a lie. Yes, one day we will die, physically. But, if we have committed our lives to Christ, we will not die spiritually as would have happened in the Garden of Eden had not God covered it!
IF anyone suggests you must work hard so you will earn your eternity, that is man's idea. There is nothing we can do to work for our salvation. It is only be God's grace that we are saved. However, we must accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, repent of our sins, and commit our life to serve Him.
If you have accepted Christ as your Savior and Lord, repented of your sins, and committed your life to him,
God's got you covered! We must learn to rest in God's word and believe Him. (Psalm 91:1-2)
In John 37:3, Jesus says, "If anyone thirsts, let Him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, from his heart will flow rivers of living water." Christ is that Living Water and we gain that flow through reading His word - the Holy Bible. It will change you. It will heal you. It will give you peace. You are covered.
You are NOT naked!
You are covered!
You are loved!
You are worthy of all the Father has through Jesus.
Notice, after God asked the question, "Why Told You That You Were Naked," satan doesn't say another single word in that scene.
God's word, IS and ALWAYS WILL BE, the final word. I pray you fall in love with Jesus and His Word.
If you have not yet received Christ, and you are now convinced of His plan for you, pray this simple prayer below:
Lord Jesus, I accept you as my Lord and Savior. I am sorry for the things I have done wrong and need Your help to live a better life. Please come into my heart and direct my life according to your Will. I make You my Lord and Savior and commit my life to You. In the precious name of Jesus Christ, Amen!
I then encourage you to get in a Bible-based church and seek good counsel. There is power in being in the body of Christ.
In the victorious and mighty name of Jesus Christ, the only High Priest, our Judge, and KIng!