One of my work routines is to pray for each area of ministry inside the room that they meet. One day, when I was praying for the elementary-aged children, I felt a strong resistance, like a wall. I left because it was so overwhelming, but came back in because I couldn’t leave a fight! I declared things, spoke in tongues, worshiped, lay down and soaked—nothing changed. The wall was still there. Finally, I asked God what He was doing. If only I had gone to Him to get marching orders, first! He told me exactly what to do.
I saw a vision of Jesus walking in the room, hands extended and saying, “Everything is good.” The area around Him revealed heaven. There were joyful, life-filled children, succulent plants, and vibrant colors. He repeated it over and over. Each time He said it, the “heaven” part of the room expanded. Then, I began to say it, out loud; “Everything is good.” I felt a massive shift (I’m more of a feeler than a seer). Every time I said it, I felt the shift more, until the room was filled with heaven and the wall was pushed out.
The resistance was a liar. The truth was that everything was good, and I got to partner with Him to see that happen.
This picture marked the shift of season from warfare into reaping from the promise land. Two major keys that I developed during that time were to seek God’s perspective and to ask Holy Spirit for patience.
Disappointment and Drama: Perspective
Last year was rough for many of us. I spent the spring crying. Unfortunately, I didn’t do a great job of holding onto God’s promises and bobbed around in the storms around me, until I learned to really, truly talk to God about disappointment.
I think the first step to seeing God’s perspective is to let Him take your disappointments, or anything that’s disconnecting you from Him. He helped me to feel His presence even in the midst of feeling disappointed in myself, others and even in Him. And, I felt them lift, clarity return, and a reconnection with His heart.
Then, I shared the problems I experienced. Although some needed to be fought out, others He simply called “drama.” Drama lies and says, “I’m important. I’m urgent. I have eternal-impact.” But, God said that when drama leaves, it’s like a fog lifting. It has no effect on the people or things it touched, expect for the damage that people do inside of it (by partnering with it).
So—knowing it was not eternal—I asked God what HE was doing in those situations. He showed me the people involved and me. The people were powerful, healthy and whole and releasing the kingdom in a powerful way—forgetful of the past. I was beautiful and happy, and stronger for having walked through it, lending aid to others. He showed me other great things, too. He switched my perspective from the hear-and-now and onto the future. If I would have stayed in the moment, I would have become disillusioned.
Getting through hard seasons and moving into new ones requires a heavenly perspective. Those visions and words sustain us and lift us out of the fog of drama and disappointment. And, living in that Godly perspective, I believe, requires patience.
Patience, more than a Virtue
Unfortunately, when I looked back in my journal, I realized that patience was something I actually asked for in January of 2016. Lesson learned! This year, I’m praying for wisdom on how to handle millions of dollars, the grace to deal with tons of speaking requests, and how to handle too much joy! I am joking. I am grateful for the lesson in patience. It’s a fruit of the spirit and its one that I’m growing now, more than ever before. Patience helps you stay connected to the heart of God after He gives a word and before it’s fulfillment.
Last year was not my finest heart-hour. As I said, I let circumstances rule me, fear overtake me, and feelings dictate the way I saw. Yet, in my weak emotional season, God shined like a hero. Last year, I learned that God is faithful to His word in an upside down way—I learned because even when I didn’t agree, His words prevailed.
One of the words God gave me was that He was giving us a baby. That was in February (2016). We got pregnant in November. In those nine months, I doubted the word, grew in fear, and felt forgotten when friend after friend got pregnant. But, as I mentioned above, I talked to God about this disappointment and He relieved me of it before the fulfillment of His word. And, God did come through!
The Lord showed me how gracious He is even in our wavering. His faithfulness isn’t dependent on our performance, it’s dependent on His honesty. I think that was the best way for me to learn patience because the patience is rooted in trust in His faithfulness.
It’s easy to grow patience when you trust God. It’s easy to trust God when you see Him as gracious in your weakness and honest to His own word.
I think one of the reasons why I stumbled through parts of last year was because I was so used to things being bad, that I didn’t shift with the Lord when things for me were good. I didn’t always trust His goodness regardless of the circumstances. Shifting with the Lord—regardless of what’s going on around you—is vital to our relationship with God and ministry to others.
My first vehicle was a manual 1992 Ford 4x4. I would drive while eating a taco in one hand and holding my cellphone with my shoulder (I also got into three accidents, so I don’t recommend that method!). The gears were really old and shifting took some muscles. Shifting from first to second was the most difficult and most important, because if I didn’t shift on time, I’d stall.
There is no worse feeling than stalling on a hill or in an intersection. For those who have never driven a standard, just imagine slowly rolling backward, throwing on the emergency brake, and restarting your car, all while there are cars inches behind yours! It’s the worst! So, I learned to really listen to my car, feel the vibrations and watch the needle to pick up on exactly when to shift to second on time. When I did, I always took a deep sign of relief!
Spiritual season changes can be like this. First gear is like the ground breaking, and moving into second gear is probably the most important transition that can happen. It moves you out of the breakthrough and into the promise land—smother sailing. To switch with Him, we listen, feel and watch for His movement and direction.
Last year, True Life literally broke ground on our expansion. I remember taking the KidMarvel kids outside to witness it. It was exciting and sobering. We felt the weight of the work that would be involved in this season of expansion.
But, we’re shifting into second gear. We’re going faster into advancement. And it’s important to not to wait in the season of breaking, but to move forward with the Lord.
My call to you, church family, is will you shift? Will you see yourself as more than a warrior, and as a harvester or a champion in the promise land? Will you claim “everything is good” and look for God’s perspective in all circumstances, and choose patience until they line up with His word?
The harvest is here, and the Spirit is ready to pour out!
Will you shift, with me, into the “more” God has for True Life and this region?