Encountering God

To say that service was good this morning would be an understatement. It was definitely a message that answered lots of questions for me that I had asked just last week during my quiet time.
Many times as Christians we blame the enemy for some things that God himself has allowed. He allows us to be boxed into corners sometimes or caught between a rock and a hard place so that we can come to the end of ourselves and realize that God is our answer and deliverer. This has been true for me over the last 6 months. I thought I was in the middle of His will. I thought I had heard clearly from Him to do certain things and once I did them, nothing happened as I had anticipated it to.

In Exodus 14 we find the Israelites leaving Egypt after the plagues were brought upon all of the Egyptians. God first does not allow them to take the shorter route to the promised land so that they would not be tempted to return to Egypt at any time. So they are out in the wilderness along the long route that causes them to come up against the Red Sea in front of them and Pharaoh and his army behind them. The Lord hardens Pharaoh’s heart (made him more rebellious than he already was). God hardened his heart so that His will, purpose, and plan could be fulfilled.

Pharaoh sees that the Israelites are basically in a cul de sac. The only way out is the way they entered in. It is in the cul de sac of their situation that they experience an encounter with God. The Israelites cry out to God and yet they complain to Moses…”you should have left us in Egypt to be slaves and die there. We told you to leave us alone and let us be, we were fine being slaves”. (my translation)

Moses tells them to not fear? To stand by and see the salvation of the Lord. Yet the Lord replies to Moses ” Why are YOU crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. Moses was preaching the truth but he himself was also scared. So as they were complaining to him and He was speaking confident truth to them, he too was also afraid. Sometimes we have to do things afraid even while we are confident the Lord will make a way or fight the battle.

The Israelites were in the middle of the will of God and they were confronted with a dilemma. It is often that way for us as well. We hear from God and we are in the middle of His will for our lives and yet it seems all hell breaks loose. It is in the dilemma that we have that encounter with God and experience Him in ways we could not have imagined.

The Israelites cried out to God, but they also complained to Moses at the same time. We tend to do the same. Get caught in a dilemma and we are crying out to God, yet we call our girlfriends on the phone or meet up for coffee and pour out our complaints about what our kids are doing, our spouses, or the hard hearted boss we have. We get others to speak into our misery and chime in with their 2 cents. We can’t cry out to God AND complain to man at the same time. In verse 14 Moses tells them, “the Lord will fight for you while you keep silent”. In other words….SHUT UP!!!!!!
Cry out to God and if you “need” to speak to someone, find someone who will help you to see God’s perspective. (which means, they too must be chasing after God and in His presence on a daily basis, not just on Sunday morning).

Then God tells the Israelites to go forward. Faith is in your feet and not in your feelings. When God tells you to move forward, have faith to do just that and know that even though His instructions may not make sense, it is when we operate in faith that the miracles come forth, the supernatural takes place. Until God see’s you operate in faith, He will do nothing.
So as they go forward, the wind begins to blow and the sea splits causing a wall of water on each side and the ground to dry. They are then able to walk across the middle of the sea.
They experienced an encounter with God that allowed them to see the mighty power of the Lord in their dire situation.

So what I thought was isolation from the enemy at first was just that. However, God told me at the beginning of this fast to be quite and seek His face. As I have done that in just this first week, I have seen the power of the Lord in my situation and new hope to blossom. I will cry out to Him and shut up talking to others about the dilemma the Lord has allowed me to be in and while He has given no directions yet, I will stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. When He tells me to move forward, I must be ready and be obedient to take the steps He directs me to.

I hope this has blessed you as much as it blessed me. Leave your comments below. I’d be more than happy to pray for you if you’d like to leave your prayer requests in the comments as well.

God Bless!!!

She’s Still There


A couple of weeks ago I attended the women’s conference at my church home. I tell you it is good to be back in my church home being fed a supreme buffet under the tutalge of Pastor Tony Evans.
Anyway, I digress.
During this conference we were able to hear about a new book and we had the opportunity to purchase it at the conference. I had no intentions of buying anything this go round, but that notion was voided as soon as I heard Christine Caine speak for the very first time. I knew I had to get her 2 sessions. Then Chrystal Hurst began to speak about the book she wrote and it drew me in, captivated me, and I knew in my heart, not only did I have to get the book, but my daughters needed to read this book as well. So I bought 3 copies.

We are reading it together at this time, unless a moment comes where we find we really need to just dive in for ourselves or stay on a chapter a bit longer than someone else. We’ve completed chapter 1 and I’m already feeling this connection with this book and the words penned to paper.

She’s still there…Here is a bit of what’s written on the back cover. After reading, you too may decide this is a book you must add to your library.
Has your life drifted far from what you thought it would be? Do you ever feel lost in the middle of your life?
In She’s Still There, Chrystal Evans Hurst shares the secret to loving and honoring your life-even if your road is rough and your story is messy. From her heartrending journey through teenage pregnancy to her humorous struggle with a Hershey bar, Chrystal explores what it means to find direction, purpose, and beauty especially when you find yourself living a life you didn’t plan.
With refreshing authenticity and fierce encouragement, Chrystal will help you:
*Recognize hard seasons as refining moments, not defining moments.
*Reject the lie that you’ll never move forward.
*Discover practical ways to connect with your God-given next steps.
*Embrace your identity as both a masterpiece and a work in progress.

That…..should be enough to make you want to devour the book. As she spoke, tears streamed down my face as I realized I had lost the girl in me. Circumstances and life’s punches had stripped me of who I once was. I want that girl back. I want the dreams that girl within me dreamed back. I want the hope that girl within me once had. The creativity, the joy, the laughter, the fun, I want it all back and it is oh so refreshing to know that She’s Still There. Maybe deep down and dusty, hidden, ashamed, afraid, battered, and bruised, but she’s there.

Chapter 1 she talks about looking at her life as is, working a job she hated, feeling like if she could just have a moment to get off the wheel of life she could regroup and find herself again and move forward. The only way she can see this happening is if God allows her to get into a car accident and break both her legs so that she’s in the comfort of a hospital room and able to just take a moment.

Drastic huh? Yea, I know, but sometimes we seek drastic measures to just slow life down.

I’ve been there. Heck, I’m there right now!! I too have asked God to stop the bus and let me off so I can get my thoughts together and see how to pick up from this mess I’m in and regroup and start over.

Here are a few places where you can purchase the book. I hope you decide to take the journey and find that the girl you’ve been looking for and thought was lost is still there!!! Don’t give up!

Amazon

Christian Book

Zondervan

Proverbs 31 Woman

Chrystal Evans Hurst