Kayla’s Room

My fast unto worship, spending an hour each day in song, dance, and prayer has been amazing! Pushing through the “important things”, and my negative feelings has paid off in some ways I am so thankful for.

One day while I was worshipping, the Lord put on my heart to go into my daughter’s room to worship and pray. I brought my music with me and began to pray for her. I prayed against the strategies of the enemy meant to harm her, and I invited the Holy Spirit to come into her room and fill it with His love, His truth, and the good that God intends for her. I took her Bible and prayed over it, that she would love the Word of God; that she would read it, and that it would change her from the inside out. This time of worship was so satisfying. I was able to pray the things that I long for her to know, to be.

Often my words to her don’t come out right, or they aren’t received the way I intend them. Our words to one another can be as a wrestling match; my will for her against her will. The Lord reminded me that I don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, and the wrestling with words rarely accomplishes anything good. It just drives us apart.

This worship, this prayer in her room, feels so right. I am so thankful that I pushed through my flesh so I could hear God call me to worship and pray for my daughter in her room. It is something I will continue to do even after my fast is over and I trust that not only will my soul prosper because of it, but that her soul will also prosper!

So this hour of worship has proved valuable. But what about the other 23 hours of my day?

How do I keep God on the throne of my heart when there are so many things always fighting for my “worship”? How do I worship God all throughout my day?

There are many examples of worship in the Bible that I can learn from.

“There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord.” Genesis 12:8

Abraham worshipped God after God spoke to him. God may not speak in an audible voice, but am I listening for His voice throughout my day?

Do I hear Him when I awake to a new day?

“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Do I hear Him when I see the sky spread in the splendor of pink and orange as the sun rises?

“Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.” Psalm 65:8

Do I hear Him when I read His word?

“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105

Do I hear Him in the offense of a friend?

For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5

Do I hear Him in the midst of the storm?

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.” Psalm 91:1-2

Do I hear Him when I lay my head down at night?

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.” Psalm 4:8

I believe God is always speaking…

will I choose to listen for His voice?

will I respond in worship?

But God isn’t the only one speaking…

There are two voices which speak to me…

The voice of God, truth.

The voice of Satan, lies.

And it is these two voices that are at war to gain my worship.

I am a child of God, filled with the Holy Spirt, possessing a soul that will live forever, alive in a body of flesh…

I have been placed in this world that was created by God, sustained by God, held in God’s very own hands. I have been strategically positioned for such a time as this to know God, to hear God, and to worship Him forever!

But though this world was created by God, and for God, it is a world where the enemy of God, Satan, roams around as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.

And so I find myself in a world that is in tension between truth and lies.

The voice of truth, the voice of my Creator, speaks to my spirit. It is the voice that keeps my soul at peace… causing it to prosper.

The voice of the liar, the voice of Satan, speaks to my flesh. It is the voice that keeps my soul in confusion…keeping it from prospering.

When I consider these two voices in this way it is obvious which voice I should listen to, but when I live this life out, it is incredible how difficult it can be to choose the right voice.

Paul described this battle in Romans 7. I like the way the Message summed up Paul’s frustration…

“I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.” Romans 7:24-25

Paul’s conclusion to this tension, this battle for his soul…

Jesus!!

Praise God, Jesus is the answer!

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life!!! (John 14:6)

Jesus makes right all that is wrong.

Jesus is the truth that exposes lies and deception.

Jesus brings peace into the chaos.

May the truth that all creation was made to worship God inspire you to listen for His voice in the midst of the chaos of your day. May you choose to hear His voice above the voice of the enemy and to respond in worship. For God is worthy of all your praise, all your worship!

 

Made to Worship!

 

When God called me to a fast unto worship through song and dance He reminded me that I was created for His pleasure. And that…

I was made to worship God,

and to bring Him glory.

“Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.” Isaiah 43:7

“You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.” Revelation 4:11

I was excited for the hour each day when I would find some new songs, dance unto the Lord, read scripture out loud, and intercede for others. I knew it would be a time commitment, but I wasn’t expecting it to include dying to self and I wasn’t prepared for the battles between my spirit and my flesh.

It didn’t take long for other things to become “very important.” There were things that “needed to get done.” A battle would go on in my mind as I tried to justify why I needed to skip worship that day. Some mornings it seemed I was just going through the motions. My worship seemed mechanical.

But then I remembered, this is a fast. Just as with a fast of giving things up, of saying “no” to certain things, this fast unto worship requires obedience, a pushing through of the flesh no matter what else may seem “very important.” No matter how I may feel.

I’m so glad God gave me this verse…

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1:2

I’m finding this fast is giving me some understanding of how my soul prospers; that when my soul prospers everything else lines up. I know God has called me to fast an hour a day, to worship Him through song and dance, and the Holy Spirit within me longs for the fellowship and the intimacy that provides, but my flesh isn’t always convinced.

I am body, soul, and spirit. I am created in God’s image and my spirit has been made alive through faith in Jesus Christ. I have a soul that will live forever because God’s Spirit lives within me, and my spirit and my soul are housed in my body of flesh and bones. While my spirit cries out for this fellowship, this intimacy, my flesh has its own ideas, its own plans.

My soul (my intellect, my emotions) is caught between my spirit and my flesh.

The one I choose will determine whether my soul prospers or not.

My soul prospers when I deny my flesh and obey my spirit.

There was one particular day of this fast that I experienced an amazing hour of singing and dancing unto the Lord. I can’t put into words the way my soul was so filled, so satisfied! That fullness carried me through my day with a joy and ease I have rarely experienced. The verse, “for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” became real, tangible. I realized in a new way that, yes, when my soul prospers, everything else prospers.

Along with my verse for the New Year, God prompted me to watch the movie, “War Room.” God has used this movie profoundly in my life. I have no idea how many times I have watched it, but I do have most of the lines memorized! I remember after Mark, Kayla, and I watched it in the theater, Kayla turned to me and said  “We need to buy that movie and watch it every day.” I came away from that movie with a passion to be like Clara. I can relate to her role…she experienced some things in her past that she regretted. But rather than living in regret, she chose to obey the Lord, and to speak from that regret with warnings, encouragement, and godly counsel, to another woman who was going through similar situations, so she wouldn’t “step on the same land mines.” I had the awesome opportunity to meet “Clara,” to get her autograph, and to even give her a hug of appreciation for all she represented in that movie. She was a woman who knew the importance of spending time alone with God. She knew the importance of denying self, and of fighting the battle between the spirit and the flesh.

She made room in her day for prayer.

She made room in her house for prayer.

Because she denied herself and won the battle between spirit and flesh, she was able to fight the real battles of life…

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

There is a battle taking place for my soul in the spirit realm. Though my spirit has been made alive, and God’s Spirit lives within me granting me abundant and eternal life, as long as I live in this body of flesh, the battle for my soul remains. The enemy of my soul wants to keep my flesh at work so that my soul doesn’t prosper. As long as I listen to my flesh, to its cravings, its feelings, and rely on its understanding, my soul will not prosper.

This is the strategy of the enemy…to keep my flesh striving so that my soul doesn’t prosper, so my health doesn’t prosper, so my life doesn’t prosper.

Satan can’t keep me from heaven, but his strategies can keep me focused on the things of this world so that I am deceived and make choices from my flesh instead of my spirit.

Now that I am aware of the enemy’s strategies against me to keep my soul from prospering,

and now that I have experienced the incredible, tangible joy of how my soul prospers in the presence of God.

I pray I will push through the striving and the feelings of my flesh, listen to the desires of my spirit, and experience the prosperity of my soul, my health, and my life!

For I have been made to worship God!

 

 

 

As Your Soul Prospers

 

Several years ago I gave up making New Year resolutions. I guess mainly because I never did very well with keeping them. But I also decided that since God already knew everything that I would go through in the coming year He may have a verse that I could hold onto, a promise, or an encouragement for whatever I faced. So again this year as I was praying for a verse God showed me…

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1:2

I’ve been on a journey for many years concerning my health. The Lord has been opening my eyes to many lies and wrong thinking that have affected me spiritually and physically, but that is a story for another time…

But because of this journey the word “health” caught my attention.

So with health on my mind, and since I have often gone on a fast this time of year to hit the reset button, away from sugar, and to lose some added pounds from the holidays, I asked God if I should go on a fast.

As I waited to hear His answer I realized that I don’t remember ever going on a fast for purely spiritual motives. I have always had my health, specifically my weight, in mind. With this thought I considered the rest of the verse, “just as your soul prospers.” 

It was then that the Lord did call me to a fast. But it was unlike any fast I have ever gone on.

He called me to a fast that would prosper my soul.

God called me to fast the first hour of my day onto worship of Him through song and dance. And then He said…

Wilma, the things of your life, yes, even your health, are all contingent on the condition of your soul. When your soul prospers everything else in life lines up. The condition of your soul determines how you think, and how you think determines everything about you, even the very cells of your body.

(If you want to find out more about how your thinking affects your life, your health, listen to Dr. Caroline Leaf.  She has scientifically proven this verse to be true. Amazing how science proves God’s word!)

God then reminded me…

Wilma, you have been created to worship Me!

I have put a song in your heart and words in your mouth to sing to Me.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I can’t sing, or dance for that matter! But that excuse was as useless as Moses telling God he couldn’t speak. Just as God put words into Moses’ mouth that were used for deliverance and prosperity, I believe the Lord has words to put into my mouth to sing unto Him that will bring deliverance and prosperity to my soul. When Moses stood before Pharaoh he told him to let God’s people go so they could worship God. The Israelites were in slavery, they were held captive. But God had freedom for His people so they could worship Him. Slavery, captivity from the lies of Satan, have kept me from truly worshipping the Lord. They have kept me worshipping self and bowing down to things that benefit me, and they have brought compromise and imbalance to my health. The Lord has reminded me of the power of my words and the power of my thoughts and I pray the fast onto worship will transform me from the inside out. As I embrace my true identity as a worshipper of God, and as I hear His praises come from my mouth I trust my soul will greatly prosper.

For when your soul prospers…

your life becomes a life of purpose,

your life becomes healthy.

As you enter this New Year, whether it is with the hope of keeping your New Year resolutions, encouraged by a promise from God, or you are just glad you made it through 2016, may you know the prosperity that comes from a soul that is after God’s own heart. As David said..

“Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” Psalm 103:1-5

After all it is your soul that will live for eternity as you lay your crown before God’s throne and join with the angels saying…

“You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything, and it is for Your pleasure that they exist and were created.” Revelation 4:11

 

 

Come and See What God has Done!

 

Come and see what God has done, was the angel’s message to the shepherds out in the fields watching their sheep that first Christmas night. They were terrified as the angel came among them and the glory of the Lord shone around them. The angel told them not to be afraid, for he had brought them Good News that would bring Great Joy, for all people, for a Savior had been born!! Then the angel told the shepherds how they would recognize the Savior that was born; they would find Him wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger

How did the shepherds respond to the angel’s message?

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other,

“Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.” Luke 2:13-20

Come and see what God has done…

God’s message pierced through the darkness and rang out loud and clear on the hills outside Bethlehem as a host of angels joined together praising and glorifying the Lord. Their words of praise and of peace expelled the shepherd’s fear and brought an excitement to them to go and see the thing which the Lord had told them about. They hurried off, and there, in the town of Bethlehem, they found the Baby; the Good News that brought Great Joy, the Savior of the world!

The shepherds were the first missionaries, the first ones to share testimony about Jesus! Jesus hadn’t said a word, hadn’t done anything but “come to earth.” Standing in the presence of Jesus, seeing what God had done, changed the shepherds and gave them a story they couldn’t keep to themselves! They went and spread the Good News of Great Joy to all the people and all who heard their story were astonished.

The shepherds went back to their work that night changed because they listened to and obeyed the message from God. Their darkness was turned to Light as they went to see what God had done! Their hearts were filled with awe and wonder, and their mouths were filled with joy and praise as they glorified God!

Though you may not see an angel come to you with a message from God or a multitude of angels praising God, God still sends this message to you.

Come and see what God has done…

Come and see Jesus…

The Good News…

that brings Great Joy to all people…

the Savior of the World!

And once you find Jesus, once you see Him face to face, once you experience the presence of Jesus you will never be the same!

Whether you have seen Jesus for many years, or have never responded to God’s message to come and see…I invite you to come and see Jesus as never before! Every encounter with Jesus, every time you set aside the busyness of life to come and see, to “Be still and know that I am God,” you are changed from the inside out.

A great way to have an encounter with Jesus is to read the Bible with a heart that believes and a mind to understand. Jesus is called the Word of God, so when you read the Bible, you gain understanding of who God is. You learn the Good News of all Jesus has done, is doing, and will do. Your fear is turned to peace. You are encouraged by those who have gone before and have seen what God has done. You gain understanding, new perspectives, and greater faith. Your mouth is filled with praise and you have stories that you can’t keep to yourself!

Between the Old Testament and the New testament there had been over 400 years of silence. No one had heard the voice of God. It was into that darkness that the angel’s messages to Zechariah, to Mary, to Joseph, and to the shepherds came shining through. It was into that silence that God sent His Good News of Great Joy, the Savior of the world.

Sometimes you can fool yourself by thinking that because you have a Bible in your house. Because you go to church. Because your family is Christian. Because you have the Light of Jesus all around you, you don’t need to have your own encounters with Jesus. You can be fooled into thinking that since you heard the angels tell about the Savior of the world you don’t need to go to the manger to see Him for yourself. The truth is that until you push away your own fear, leave your own sheep, and hurry off to find the manger, you will never encounter Jesus. You won’t experience His presence, and you will live in darkness and silence.

As the year 2016 comes to an end, and 2017 comes in fresh and new, now is the time for you to

Come and see what God has done…

Come and see Jesus…

To read your Bible,

to pray

to journal

to listen to God

to respond to what He says

to do what He says

for then your mouth will be filled praise as you glorify God and tell others the Good News of Great Joy…

You will be one who brings God’s message of Light into this dark world, breaking the silence with His message of Hope, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year – and many amazing encounters with Jesus – Wilma

Feel free to share a comment of your encounters! You never know how your story may encourage someone else!

Above: Adriana Vega

A beautifully choreographed dance to the song, Noel, written by Chris Tomlin, performed Christmas Day, at Bethany Church, Wanaque.

 

 

Love Came Down at Christmas

When God created the first man He called all of heaven to join Him as He gathered the dust of the ground and formed and shaped Adam with His hands. Jesus, Holy Spirit, and all the angels watched in amazement as God then leaned over and breathed His very breath into man’s lungs and Adam became a living being. The woman too, God took His hands and reached into Adam and drew out a rib with which He formed Eve. All other creation God spoke into being, but man was lovingly shaped by God’s very own hands, created in His own image. Adam received his first breath through God’s own mouth. God placed Adam and Eve in a garden of perfection, the Garden of Eden, where they all enjoyed walking and talking together. Adam and Eve had everything they needed, experienced no guilt, and knew no shame.

That was all Adam and Eve knew; perfect love, truth, and intimacy with God, their Creator.

Until the day evil entered the garden…

Satan, the liar, brought to God’s creation another voice.

Another choice.

Satan had also enjoyed the presence of God. Lucifer, as he once was called, was created by God, a beautiful covering angel who worshipped God and walked upon the fiery stones of heaven. But one day evil was found in Lucifer. One day pride rose up in him and he wanted to be worshipped instead of the worshipper he was created to be. He wanted to be like God. And because God will not share His glory with any other, Lucifer was cast out of heaven, down to earth.

And so, it was this same evil that came into the perfect Garden of Eden.

That same lie, “you will be like God…”

The lie that says, “Is God really worthy of your worship? Wouldn’t you rather be worshipped?”

The lie enticed…

The lie was embraced…

The lie replaced the truth…

The lie brought disobedience to God’s command…sin

Sin brought guilt and shame.

Sin brought death to the relationship between man and his Creator.

That evil, that sin nature, has been passed on to all God’s creation.

But God so loved the world…

God had a plan from the beginning, when sin first entered man. That plan was to restore relationship, and to defeat the enemy, the liar, Satan.

There in the Garden of Eden God set His plan into motion and there is a Crimson Thread that runs through the Bible that shows God’s love for His creation. It was a plan of redemption so that the relationship and the fellowship that God intended for His creation would be restored.

Love came down from heaven on Christmas Day!

The prophet Isaiah spoke of a child, a son that was to be born. He would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. He would rule with fairness and justice, forever. The Lord of heaven’s armies would make it happen! (Isaiah 9:6-7) Isaiah spoke of this 700 years before the birth of Jesus. God gave His people a promise, a hope, that He had Good News that would be to all people.

In God’s perfect timing.

When the world was dark and God’s voice was silent…

On that first Christmas night I believe a holy hush fell upon heaven, as all joined together and waited in suspense, in anticipation, to see the Wonder of Love sent down to earth!

Love that would once again breathe life into God’s creations that had died that day in the Garden of Eden.

Love that would restore relationship between God and all whom He lovingly created with His own hands.

Something new and different was about to happen. God’s Love was about to be demonstrated in a miraculous way. The Love of God was about to come to earth, to take on flesh and blood, to live among the people.

Jesus came down at Christmas, born to bring us Life!

“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”Luke 2:8-12

God’s Love is Good News!!

God’s Love casts out all fear!!

God’s Love brings great joy!!

Why the shepherds? Why were they the first ones to hear the Good News? Those who were outside and alone on a cold dark night, doing a menial job, away from the warmth and comfort of home?

In many ways the shepherds represent all people. Sin has kept us outside, and alone in the dark of night. Sin has kept us away from the warmth and comfort of a relationship with our heavenly Father.

God’s Good News is for all people!

You may be in a cold, dark place,

You may feel alone, even during this time of “Happy Holidays,”

You may be far from the warmth and comfort of family and friends.

“The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood…What came into existence was Life, and the life was Light to live by.” John 1:14,4 MSG

Christmas! The Love of God come to earth as a Babe in a manger. The Light of God come onto this dark world. The Life of God given to all who believe. This Christmas may you know the Good News that came to the shepherds on that first silent and holy night…Good News of Great Joy, a Savior is born, He is Christ the Lord! No longer a Babe in a manger, but the Savior of the world who now sits at the right hand of God the Father. He no longer knocks on the doors of houses, but on the doors of human hearts, longing to be welcomed inside to bring Love, to bring Light, and to Live with you forever!

God comes to say to you,

“Hear the Good News of Love come down at Christmas! For I so loved you that I sent My One and only Son. If you believe in Him you will not die, but you will live and have Life with Me forever! 

Thank you for joining me on this journey through life to learn the ways the enemy means for harm, but that God intends for good!!  May you realize the amazing good God intends for you in the Love that came down from heaven as you celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!! – Wilma