Hope

44360648_10217396586811621_7015477418978705408_o Instagram:  awakened_arts

Romans 15:13- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

How do I hope when I am surrounded on all sides? When the darkness comes in and clouds my mind. I am tempted to succumb to my weakness and lack rather than rising in His strength. How do I overcome? It is not by might, but by His spirit. It is connecting to Him in Spirit by praise and worship. It is in surrender, for in losing my old self, He clothes me with new life. And so…

When HOPE and EXPECTATION rise in my spirit fear, anger, hurt, insecurity and all forms of darkness are shaken out of my sites. Joy and peace become my covering.
Trusting in the Lord is the key to my hope.

I will sing of His wondrous love that saved me from my self.
I will rejoice in His overwhelming grace that covers all my shortcomings.
I praise Him in the morning, His mercies are new each day.
I take my eyes off of my moment and look to my helper, my comfort, my strength.
My moment will pass, but He is ever constant, faithful with every breath I take.
A keeper of promises.
A healer of disease.
Mighty fortress in times of trouble.
Provider for my needs.
The Hope will rise and overflow from my soul.
For the God of all Hope has said it will be so.

With Everything~ Worship song for my day

 

 

Fruit of the Spirit

apple treeGalatians 5: 22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.

The word says we will know them by their fruit. I have had some amazing deposits in my life from fruit-bearing individuals. Life changing deposits that I am so very grateful for. Their lives are overflowing with the fruit of the Spirit.

 I have been asking lately, Lord what causes the others to not bear fruit?
( I was bearing fruit but it was rotting, that is in part 2)

I can see no outward appearance of the fruit of the Spirit in their lives.
Outwardly there is hate instead of love, anger instead of joy, anxiety instead of peace, impatience instead of kindness, rudeness instead of goodness, judgment instead of gentleness and goodness, you get my point. But I was feeling as if I was judging them by looking for their fruit and God said you will KNOW them by their fruit of the Spirit.

So I said, okay Lord, what causes a person to not bear fruit when they are your child?
The Lord impressed on my heart to look at the fruit-bearing trees and address, what causes a tree not to bear fruit?

barren apple tree

Part One:

HELP THERE IS NO FRUIT!!!

  1. Immaturity– A fruit tree that is young will not bear fruit. There is a time of growth first.  For a new Christian, there is a learning and a growing season.
    The Lord will do the work in their lives, preparing them for fruit growth and that will require time with Him. Get to know the Holy Spirit and you will bear His fruit.
    1 Corinthians 3:1-2 

    Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly-mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.

     

  2. Pollination– A fruit tree requires pollination. Some are self-pollinating and that would be us getting into the word for ourselves and spending time with the spirit our self (very important)
    But other trees are cross-pollinating, and they require others near them to pollinate, they require a community to help them grow. A community that walks in the fruit of the Spirit, pouring out and sharing what the Lord has done in them. I think we need to do both, self-pollination and cross-pollination are equally important.
    Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

  3. Zones– This is a big one for me personally. A fruit tree was created to flourish in certain zones (atmosphere). If a fruit tree is planted in the wrong zone, it may bear fruit but it will not flourish as it was intended to. So often I would stay where I was at because it was the easy thing to do. But if an environment is hindering my fruit production in my life, I have to look at the very real possibility that it is time for changing my zone.
    Also if an intense shift in your life has come (drought or freeze) it may be harder to bear fruit. This is a time to press into the Lord and let Him do the repair. This may be a season of great care for your Spirit but it may be a season of less visible fruit production. It is preparing you for more fruit in another season of your life.
    The Lord has a plan for our lives. It is so important to press in and ask, where will I best flourish Lord?
    Jeremiah 29: 11- For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future.

  4. Pruning- A fruit tree will not be as productive without pruning by the hand of the gardener. Buds often form on limbs that have air circulation and light infiltration. By cutting off the old you are making room for air and light. By cutting off the things in your life that are holding you back from the Lord, you are available for the Holy Spirit to circulate and infiltrate your life.  This process can be very uncomfortable, as we often have grown attached to the things that need to be pruned from our lives, but it is absolutely necessary for fruit production.
    John 15:2- Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

  5.  Spacing- Fruit trees that are too close to one another, compete for light and nutrients. While the community is so very important to fruit-bearing for the Christian, relying upon and getting closer to one another than the father, can leave us lacking the depth of nutrients and light that we are in great need of.
    I can rely on my community, grow with my community and fellowship with the community, but if that community becomes my first or everything, then the Holy Spirit is not allowed the room He needs to maximize my growth. As well, this leaves us extremely vulnerable when the community lets us down, as we were leaning on the wrong source. We must have space and ABIDE in Him.
    John 15:5- “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing.

  6. Soil Conditions- A fruitful tree needs fertile soil. This is the nutrients for growth. A Christians nutrients (food) is the word of God. You will not be properly fed without getting into Gods word for yourself. Not the word from others and how it has impacted them, but being impacted yourself. Lack of getting into the word leads to spiritual sickness.
    Matthew 4:4- But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

  7. Roots- In trees, nutrient reserves build up in the roots from the previous year. This is important for the continual growth of the next year. Hold fast to the word truths, Holy Spirit connection, and community that you have built on. Don’t let it fall to the wayside and be forgotten. You need those reserves to build upon.
    Psalm 119:11- I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. 

The most important thing I have gathered in all of this. Stay so so close to the Lord, and He will lead you in His spirit and you will bear much fruit. ABIDE in Him.
Here is a worship song that spoke to my heart. Great is the Lord in Hebrew.

This has been part one of Fruit of the Spirit. I have been greatly blessed by the depth the Lord has taken me on in this post.
I will be posting part two (Why is my fruit Rotting) after I meditate on what He has shown me today.

I thank Stark Brother’s Nursery for their blog on Fruit tree blooming and bearing problems, for insight on the process of growth of fruit-bearing trees.

 

rotting apples

Part Two:

HELP THE FRUIT IS ROTTING!!!

 

 

Intentional Connection

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John 14:26-

The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you. 

Let me start off with this thought… you can not theory your way into changing my heart of what I have experienced personally. You may not believe in the Holy Spirit in such a way, that is okay, but I have EXPERIENCED the Holy Spirit this way, and I will not be convinced otherwise.

The greatest gift is to be able to have an intentional connection with the Holy Spirit.

Where would my relationship be with my husband if I was walking through life, knowing he was there and hearing his voice from a closed door in another room but not have an intentional connection with him? I would be one with him, but not aware of him.
I can hear him trying to converse with me, but no clarity of what is being said. What kind of relationship would that be?

This is how we can walk through life with the Holy Spirit. When we are saved and baptized the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within us. He is our friend, our comforter and hopefully leads us in our walk as we let him. But there is a difference between the Holy Spirit being there and having an intentional connection with Him. He is our face to face encounter with the Father. Our opportunity to hear the Father’s heart towards us.

Just like my relationship with my husband (or anyone for that matter) the Holy Spirit needs and deserves intentional connection. He delights to hear from us. He delights to spend time with us. He delights to speak into our hearts.

So I am intentional, shutting off the noise around me and asking the Holy Spirit, what do you want to share with me today?  He has blown my mind with His goodness and love for me. He reminds me that I am loved and not forgotten. He reminds me of my purpose and call. He is every bit as intentional with me, as I am with Him.

So very thankful for the intentional connection with the Holy Spirit. To be able to say, Holy Spirit, I welcome You.

His Spirit

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I am a child of God. I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior. I have been baptized in water and in His Spirit.

Joel 2:28
It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind, and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, young men will see visions. It’s the spirit of God that has impacted me as a child.

 

My first memorable experience with the Spirit of God, was when I was just a little child.

I had a dream that Jesus had come in the sky from heaven. He was wearing white. There was a line of people waiting for Him. One by one He was taking people clothed in regular clothes, He would pass them through a shield and they would ascend to heaven, clothed in white robes. I was one of the people in line.
I woke up with the Spirit of God all over me. The dream has stayed with me all these years.

When I was in my 20’s at church, the Spirit of the Lord hit me and I felt led to a scripture in revelation. Imagine my surprise that the dream I had all those years as a child was described in God’s word!

I have had moments of His presence in my life in so many areas. I have known things only God could have told me to share with others. They would ask, “how did you know!” where I would answer, “God’s Spirit told me”.

I have been supernaturally healed in the presence of God. Three sons births testify to the Lord’s ability. The word says by the stripes of JESUS I am healed.

So what is going on now?

I have been going through health struggles, and some days I can hardly walk across the room. Dizziness is one of the most bothersome symptoms. When I am in worship and the Spirit of God hits me, I can dance, spin and rejoice. There is no pain, there is no dizziness. His Spirit pours out.

The spirit comes like a rain, touching my mind and renewing the dead dry desert. Spending time in His presence I am overwhelmed by the goodness of His flood.
Washing away the fears, the past, the anger, illness and the weight of this world.
There is nothing but peace, comfort, me and my God.

I ask myself, what is the trick to walking in that thickness of His presence all the time? Is it possible or does it hit so much stronger with a corporate body all seeking and worshiping together? Most likely it is because I fill myself with things of this world more often than I sit at the feet of His throne.  I let the stress and grief overwhelm me before I come to His throne, then look to medicine to fix it.

I pray and worship daily but do I REST in that outpouring of His Spirit, no.

I must remember my roots. I must remember the gift the Lord has given me in His Spirit. The opportunity for wholeness, for I was created to worship Him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH.
Being in the presence of God is the opportunity for a renewing of my mind and body.

Lord forgive my distractions. I worship you because you are worthy, you died and saved me from my sin, but the reward in that worship is astounding. You are SO good to have given this gift to me.

 

 

 

 

 

I want to radiate

I am aware the background to this message may sound like I am a tad bit spoiled. Trust me when I say that I know I have been. Here is a glimpse of that spoiled child in me anyway. 🙂

We live right next to a highway. On that noisy highway, are the neighbors, a gas station and a restaurant.
We blissfully slept in our new home the first few months, then one night when we clicked off the lights there was still  so much light in the room we could see the expressions on each others faces from across the room. There was now a flood of bright white light pouring in. Our neighbors so graciously bought floodlights for their parking lot and pointed them straight at our bedroom window. Previously we lived on a quiet 22 acres in the country that was stark black at night, this was a drastic change.

It could have been broad daylight it was so bright in the room. We had no money for curtains, so for a few weeks we slept (or tried to) in the light. Payday came and we found some discounted black curtains on clearance and it was blissfully dark in the room again, with only a little light seeping through the edges of the curtain.

Thinking on this light and the fact that it wasn’t very pleasant, still makes me think about how light works and how it pierces the darkness and changes a room.

A dark room with a few carefully placed lit candles becomes warm and friendly.

Reflecting on light and how bright and persistent it can be, reminds me of my desire to be that kind of light. One that changes an atmosphere and continues to shine, just because I am there. I want to lighten a room (in a GOOD way) by bringing joy and a hope.

One of the definitions of light in the dictionary is : The radiance or illumination from a particular source.

I WANT to be that particular source.  I so desire to radiate with the love of God, with HIS light. I do not want to bring darkness to a room with my grumbling, gossiping, worrying, complaining, sad self. I want to be SO full with the joy of the Lord that it can not help but spill out and onto others around me.

I want the surroundings about me to brighten with joy and animation because I am there and the Spirit of the Lord is a part of me.

One way to be the full light the Lord has for me to be, is to dig into the word and allow Him to work in me. Spending my days in prayer and worshiping the Lord in Spirit and truth continually and asking Him to always have His way in me. It is so important that I change the focus of my world around me and circumstances to a focus of Him and a love for His people. Taking steps towards being a light and letting go of the things that darken me is the only way I will be a light that penetrates the atmosphere!

Challenge this day my friends: Decide to be a light, and go for it.

Let me know the things you have done to be a light to others. Let’s share our ideas and experiences so we can grow together.

Psalm 89:15-

Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, LORD.

New Living Translation

WHY?!?

  Through all the torment and struggles of life on this earth, I am often left questioning why. There was a season that I had felt guilty for asking God, why.  I felt like I was not trusting enough and doubting, simply because I had questions stirring over my situations.

 I look back at my children when they were small and their season of parroting; “Why? Why? Why?”

As frustrating as it may have been at those constant moments, I would stop what I was doing and answer all of their ‘why’ questions, as best as I could and as often as I could. I knew the ‘why’ season was my most opportune time to share with them. They were actually interested in what Mom had to say.

I feel like God is this way too. He wants to hear His children. He wants the opportunity to share with your heart. You may not always get the answer you are looking for but if you stop and listen you just may get an answer. The Lord is a living God that speaks to His children today. You may not get an audible voice but you can, as a believer learn to listen to the Holy Spirit that is your gift and comforter.

Having this one on one relationship with the Lord, person to person, will leave your heart joy. Even if you don’t get an answer you are expecting there can be peace when you know the ‘why’ of a situation. 

I don’t believe it is healthy to focus only on the why that is stirring in your heart, but I do believe it is perfectly okay to voice it. It is perfectly okay to be real with God. He wants all of you. We tend to hold back, but how can He be our everything if we do that?

Challenge this day my friend: Go ahead and ask your why of Him. Pray that He give peace to your heart and an answer to your questions even if it is an answer you don’t like. 

Matthew 21:22- 

“You will receive whatever you ask for in prayer, if you believe.” 

(ISV)