"I need to be trained," I said in frustration, realizing that I was picking up on spiritual atmospheres that I should have prayed for directly.
I'm training you, Jesus replied, reminding me that I had been asserting the truth all through the situation, which I had been doing by habit.
Take the lowest place, Jesus had said to me, driving there this morning, and I ended up in the nursery, having forgotten what He said, and wondering if something was going wrong because nothing was going as I had expected, but continuing by faith to rest in His good will being arranged. Then Jesus reminded me, and I was filled with laughter. Afterward, I was able to pray, and it worked out perfectly, in the preschool room in the basement, on small chairs.
Be hungry for Me, Jesus said, when I was asking Him to glorify His name by manifesting His goodness here and now, in the world.
November 15, 2016
I put you there, Jesus declared, meaning that church.
"Then we will be there, no matter what through," I accepting, knowing that there would be a great deal to be gotten through, but settling my faith that if it was His will, then Jesus would bring us through each challenge.
Jenny, I can do it, Jesus affirmed, meaning get the victory in all of them.
In the night, I remembered again my desire to pray passionately in the Holy Spirit, to cause the entire atmosphere to go up in flames of the Holy Spirit, and thought perhaps now this could happen during the church prayer meetings when the Lord places us there.
Swiftly though, I remembered that I had just a few days ago been to a gathering of my brothers and sisters, hoping for the same thing, and instead the Lord had told me to take the lowest seat and that I had in fact ended up in the basement sitting on a small preschool chair that was only a foot off the ground, praying with one other dear sister in Christ.
Remembering this, I realized that it must be the Lord’s will first and that I must lay even the desire to pray onto the alter to let it die if He wishes it to die, so that only His will comes forth no matter what that looks like, so I reached into my heart and I pulled out my desire to pray, and it was like bringing forth the inner heart from my heart. I put this desire on the alter and lifted my hands away from it and stood back from it- because it was very difficult to let it go completely- and I said to the Lord, “Your will be done. Your will alone be done.”
The greatest gift, He said, His voice steady and strong.
November 17, 2016
Travailed again in prayer tonight. Anyone walking in during this would be shocked by the intensity, but it doesn't matter, no one saw me and I can't care what it looks like, because the words of the Lord are pouring through my spirit in this all-consuming surge and I must let the words pour out regardless. I must give expression to the understanding that the Holy Spirit is lighting up in me, one thing after another, each thing going up in flames- the understanding of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, the power and meaning of it, His unrelenting love, His authority, His return and how we are not ready to meet our holy, fiercely loving Lord and His Christ, our King, and His intent for mankind, that we should be images of Him, unique, living expressions of Himself, His living sons and daughters, set in a perfect creation, everything in harmony, in light, pouring forth glory to Him in song, in breath, in flesh and blood, in nature, in earth as it is in Heaven- as this pours through me, and my poor body ends up sometimes on the floor, sometimes kneeling, sobbing, gasping, rising back up in joy to be caused to remember something and then back on my face to plead.
"Lord," I breathed, crumpling up in a small heap at His feet, when after this I went inward to be with Him.
You know Me, Jesus insisted.
“Day after day, step after step, making my way toward You,” I declared, in relief, trust and determination, seeing nothing but the long expanse of time before me before I could be with Him.
November 20, 2016
Today I’m heading back to the church for prayer and Sunday service, and the screen saver keeps showing me a bird leaping from a piece of rock shaped like two hands lifted. I had a nightmare and then a dream about redemption.
Go with a joyful heart, Jesus had told me.
That was very hard going, to do that. I ended up at the foot of the bed, praying and taking huge, heaving breaths and giving myself, body, soul and spirit, into the hands of Jesus, because I knew I would be showing up, physically present and seen.
On the way there, I had to take my soul in both hands and thrust it up into joy, commanding myself to be joyful. I’m not sure that I actually became joyful, emotionally speaking, but my faith became pliable and determined.
The fear goes away once I arrive at the place I was traveling toward, and that is what happened at the church. The fear goes away and I am someone new, I am the person I became when I passed through the fear, the person that I could not become any other way, by any other gate.
I shook the hand of the pastor and told him I was there to pray with them, if that was okay. He told me I could go on in, so I went. I thought it would be corporate prayer, but it was private prayer. I gave myself over to the Holy Spirit and prayed however He was moving through me- the words and the Scripture.
I knew I was not hidden as I am in my quiet room, but I kept my eyes on Jesus, and kept in surrender to Him, because He was telling me that His glory and His goodness are seen on us, and so I must be seen in order for His life to be seen through me. My life is a witness to His Life, so I was willing to be seen for His sake. I was heavily under the fear of the Lord Jesus, because I knew without one shadow of doubt that I would see Him face to face to account for myself, and that I was in His presence then, and that I was in the presence of His living Body on earth, His anointed, His church.
Then the pastor had us open the Bible to Psalm 100: and it is this:
“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness and delight;
Come before His presence with joyful singing.”
And he said that he wanted us to shout for joy to the Lord, and then again, he said that he wanted all of us, right then, in our own words, to thank the Lord for something that the Lord had done for us that year.
There was so much to be thankful for! Everything rolled past my mind- Keith leaving the army, getting retirement pay, houses sold, the move done, the new house built. But the one thing that stood out in my mind, vividly, was that one moment when I was that close to throwing everything away, and the Lord brought me through. I was thanking Him for that when my heart lit on fire with the understanding that I needed not to merely thank Him under my breath, but I could thank Him out loud, to praise Him in a spoken voice.
“Should I? Is this what You want?” I asked Jesus, in absolute need to know His will.
Yes, Yes, He replied, strongly.
I tried to open my mouth but it was as though it were stuck and I said to Him, “I can’t get my mouth to work! How can I do this?”
Jesus’ intense desire that I should speak swept through me and I physically leaned forward, listening, listening, trying to find a way to begin speaking. There was no question. I must obey, because He is my Lord and because of my reverence of Him and recognition of Him and His will. I had to obey because my fear of Him was greater than any other fear. The words suddenly were tumbling out of my mouth into the quiet atmosphere. I almost didn’t recognize my voice.
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,” I cried out, and then the rest poured out. “When You say that we must pick up our cross and follow You, we never carry it alone,” I declared, lit up with this understanding, when I reached that point, tears filling my voice. “We never carry it alone! You come along side us and You put Your arm around us and You say, “Let Me carry the weight.”’
“You brought me through, and You will bring me all the way through and all the glory goes to You, Lord Jesus! I will praise You for this in Your courts,” I cried out, seeing the courts and eternity as though it were only yards away through an open door on the wall before me, heaven gathered in unseen rows and ranks around the throne, high and lifted up, Jesus Himself unseen but His presence familiar to me even then, even in that situation, “and I praise You for this now,” I declared, pointing with authority to the floor, to the here and now, drawing a straight line between them.
The service was on Isaiah 54, and my mouth dropped. The visiting pastor said he had a word for us from God and that it was to lengthen the cords from side to side, because the Lord was going to enlarge us, and not for our earning it, but because of His loving kindness, which is better than life. Sing, o barren! was the verse. He said he rarely has such a good word, it’s often a rebuke, but this was a good word and he had never before given such a word.
He was talking about finding pain points in the community and connecting them to the love and healing of Jesus. He said that we would need to buy new wineskins- new ministry set ups and things, to contain the new wine.
Jesus has told me that I may, in fact I must, write to the pastor and share with him my blog. Come out, Jesus said. I must begin to come out now and be seen according to His will and for His glory.
Afterward, I faced some of the most dismal, humiliating warfare ever, which seemed to crush my spirit and I labored through it for some time, but Jesus’ words got me through and I remembered not to eat the bitter fruit. If I make poor choices, I eat the bitter fruit and it is not worth it. Anything is better than the bitter fruit.
You will see Me and you will not be ashamed, Jesus told me later that afternoon, when I was resting and reached out for Him.
November 21, 2016
Still going through a major adjustment after the service. My fear of God has increased and so has my adoration of Him. It’s peculiar. It’s as though I realize that I am real. I am a real person. I showed up, and gave my testimony and that testimony is about my Lord Jesus Christ. He is really with me. This is not a hobby. This is not on the sidelines of my life. I am caught up in the heart of God Himself and He is writing a story in my life with His own hand. I belong to Him, lock, stock and barrel. I am flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone here in the world, where it is possible for me to give Him glory, to make manifest His goodness. I may do that for Him, because of Him, because Jesus is shining through my life. I must be obedient to Him in all things and repent immediately when I fall, and trust in His grace continuously. Continuously.
I knelt down in the sunlight, in submission to Him.
My own, Jesus said quietly.
“It’s so hard to believe,” I confessed, because even then, it was possible to doubt.
Do you think it was easy for Mary?
What an extraordinary leap of faith she took, to say yes, to agree! Completely surrendered to the impossible, to the divine will, to the suffering that followed, her whole life and her whole self altered by what was asked of her- to physically bear the Son of God.
But afterward, she knew a secret no one else would have known in the same way. Mary knew she was a virgin. Everyone else would need faith to believe this, but Mary knew that Jesus was the Son of God. It would not have been easy, but no matter what buffeted, what she suffered, what she faced, she had that deeply personal knowledge revealed to her by God.
People saw Jesus Christ in the flesh and still did not believe in Him. They watched His greatest miracles happen right in front of them, right before their eyes, and they did not put their faith and trust in Him. It is possible to see God in flesh and blood right in front of you, to look right into the visible face of God seen under the strong middle eastern sun as He speaks to you in your own language, a young Rabbi from the rural north, to see Him radiating the healing power of the Holy Spirit amid the joyous cries of the healed rising up to heaven and the cries of their family, the trilling of joy, the lame skipping across the ground on restored limbs, and still in that moment to be skeptical and to demand for a sign.
November 27, 2016
I have lately been drenched in His love. I don’t even want to check my phone, all I want is to drop everything and fall back into Jesus. Anytime I can turn my attention entirely toward Him and not worry about what my physical body needs to be doing, I am immediately with Him.
Jesus has a strong ability to draw, and when I feel that drawing power running like a river, I turn and surrender to the current.
“The door is always open and it leads always to You,” I told Jesus, in awe, looking up at His face, intent, still.
“You’re very serious,” I said to Him, wondering about it.
I love you so much, was His explanation. But love makes Him laugh, too.
His face! It’s not His radiant face that I love the most, though His beauty is like a golden lamp that way. I love His rugged face, the windswept face of Galilea, with the sharp planes and hollows of His cheekbones and the roughness of His beard, His clear eyes with the long, thick eye lashes and the strong brows above, His expression intent, focused and yet gentle; seeing everything, demanding nothing. He deserves everything, He is wholly worthy of everything, and yet Jesus waits in love.
When I am caught up in His love that way, it is not possible to pray to Jesus for anything, because the knowledge of His perfection and His sovereignty is overwhelming. It is possible only to thank Him and to worship Him for His perfect will and His perfect work.
Another time, however, I was with Jesus but not caught up so high, and I was praying, only it was more of a conversation where I was bringing up things on my heart and asked Him to do His will and to line me up with His will.
I kept asking Jesus, “Is it okay if I bring this up now? Can I ask You about this right now?” and His answer was always, Yes, Jenny. Go ahead. But it’s a little unusual to be in His arms and bring up this or that subject.
Every time after church, I get hit with this massive bulldozer of horribleness, each time it seems worse than before. But if I am willing to suffer through it and to hold to His words at all times, I reach the other side, exhausted but still on track.
Knelt at the side of the bed, remembered that He is perfect in all of His ways, and declared that. "You were rejected, a Man of sorrows and aquatinted with grief, but You never doubted the Fathers good plan or His good heart. Help me never to doubt Him either, no matter what I face."
December 5, 2016
My faith has been burning brightly these days, and I have been caught up in streams of love from Jesus, who is making Himself quite manifest to me. I see Him many times in the crowd and the disciples are shouting out Hosanna! and the Pharisees are complaining and Jesus looks at them through the tumult and He shouts out to them His reply, joyfully, holding His hand out to the surrounding countryside, where the rocks may remain mute that day.
Everything is a joyful melody, a moving chorus of voices and feet and sunlight, and there in the center is Jesus, and within Him, His burning heart, filled with emotion, holy and personal. He is seeing far beyond.
My alarm rang at five in the morning, and when I finally went to get up, I saw Jesus at the side of the bed, full of love, holding His hands down to me to help pull me up. My love and gratitude spilled over at this generous gesture of love, that on a Monday morning, He should show Himself to me in such a way, at such an ordinary moment of life.
I see Jesus in the house in Capernaum many times, teaching, but I see this only in glimpses. Almost as soon as I see this, I fall asleep. Most of the time, I see Jesus in the inner rooms, but I never see the rooms at all, because my focus is on Jesus and the fact that I am with Him. My entire awareness is taken up with this. Sometimes, though, I am aware of the texture of the couch under my hand and of the light and landscape that surround us, and the calm inner spaces behind us, those two rooms and the woods beyond.
At church yesterday, I was filled with the Holy Spirit so much during prayer at one point that I was worried I was going to keel over and my head was burning hot. I have no idea why, and I don’t even remember what I was praying about at that moment. I see Jesus many times as I pray, bending down toward me with His smiling face of love. I saw angels locking arms around the exterior of the room, for protection, to keep the atmosphere holy and safe to be vulnerable with the Lord. I saw a silver net coming up under the sanctuary, encompassing the room and so I prayed, “Lord, tighten the net and bring it up, bring it up.”
Then at the alter call, five people came up to take Jesus as their Lord and Savior. He took my face in His hands as I cried, hearing this. They also called up anyone to reconnect with their calling from God and I kept asking Jesus, “Am I holding back on my calling in any way?” Twice, His peaceful, sure answer was, you are here.
I have arrived, according to Jesus.
In the afternoon:
An outpouring, Jesus said. It pleases Me, it pleases Me so much.
Which is what He said of these prayers for the church and the lost in this area, that keep rising in my heart, and I keep praying them. All morning I have been.
“I want life to come flooding in! I want life to come flooding in! I don't know why I long for this with such persistent intensity... You must have put Your heart in me...” I saw this, a transfer like osmosis because of being so close to His heart so often, the feelings and longings of His heart have soaked into mine and are alive there.
Yes, Jenny, Jesus confirmed.
You are so ready for My disapproval, Jesus whispered.
"I know," I confessed, my voice small. When I first present myself to Him, I'm always on the verge of flinching away in shame at what I assume will be correction.
"A humble and contrite spirit, oh Lord, You will not despise," I reminded Jesus in a whisper.
But you must have confidence in Me- My goodness, My faithfulness, My love.
December 11, 2016
Like a tree planted by the waters, I was told, when remembering that all my strength comes from Jesus.
Saw in the inner room the bright light of the sun breaking forth through clouds, saw this as though through the walls, several times. Saw beautiful, ornate patterns of clouds imprinted over floor and walls in light, saw deep, deep water, saw my face reflected, saw below to clear depths. Felt the green leaf of a grape vine, went down to the dock.
December 12, 2016
Sat quietly in the chair and meditated on Jesus and was drawn right into His arms, where I confessed all myself and eased out into rest, and drank deeply of Him and was reassured as to His good, good will, because He is the Potter and I am the clay. I breathed the warmth of His sweet breath and rested in Him like in deep water.
This is what I must be doing in the mornings- I must write down my notes, and then rest quietly in the chair, doing nothing but being with Him. This is better than at night or early morning, when I fall asleep easily and my focus is unsteady. Also, I can keep my phone in my hand, which is convenient.
Trust My timing, is what Jesus said.
From my phone:
That's what I'm always afraid of- to show up as wrong in the physical world.
Do you trust Me?
Let go of everything- every concern, every hope. "Yes, I trust You."
"Testing!" I told Jesus, realizing that's what this is. Just as I had to test to learn His will for which church to join, I have to test to find His will in what way I will serve that church.
The time was 1:23 pm when I picked up the phone to record those words.