Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Bookshelf

It was a small room with a tall plain bookshelf against one wall. On the shelves small plastic containers and some shoe boxes were stored. Makeshift labels made from scratch paper and a black marker adhered to each box. Staring at the shelves I wondered why the Lord brought me to this place. He answered with an instruction.

There are things you need to put on the shelf.

In my hands a box labeled Expectations waited to be shelved. I paused not because I wanted the burden of holding mine or others expectations, but because I didn’t realize how heavy this box had become. I saw a space on the top shelf and slid it in.

Another heavy box waited to be shelved. Validation was filled with unhealthy desires for affirmation from others. This box brought grief to me as I held on to it. Again I found an empty space on the top shelf to store it.

Striving was a pretty flowered box. It represented my shameful attempts to be impressive. Its false beauty repulsed me. I quickly shelved it.

As much as the heavy boxes were a relief to put on the shelves, it was with much struggle to do so. I was growing weary from the process when the Lord spoke again.

There are things from Me you need to take down from the shelves.

I looked up and saw Courage. I pulled it down. I then saw Trust. I began to stack the many boxes I needed in front of me—Vulnerability, Humility, Wisdom, and Freedom.

The last box I pulled down was labeled The Father’s Love. I was both intrigued and overwhelmed. I held this box for some time. Staring intently at the label for what seemed like hours. Finally, I carefully set it down and walked away.

I pondered the contents of that last box. I wondered what was inside. I wondered why and how The Father’s Love came to be stowed away.  I wondered why I set it down and walked away. I wondered even more why I wasn’t tearing off the lid to peer inside.

The next day I thought more about the box. What was I supposed to do with it? Letting out a deep sigh I looked out over my desk and stared in disbelief. The bookshelf was empty. Every box I set on the shelves the night before sat in a heap on the floor with the ones I pulled down from the Lord. How did this happen? Did they fall or did I pull them down again? I couldn’t remember. In the middle of the mess I saw a box labeled Fear nestled up against The Father’s Love box.

My spirit woke up.

There was something powerful in that box. Yet Fear threatened to keep me away from lifting the lid and releasing its power. As I came closer I began to believe a powerful truth—my identity would be found within The Father’s Love.

I knew if I could get to The Father’s Love and lift the lid all the other boxes would find their place on or off the shelves, fear would be diffused, and my identity sealed.

I’m going to lift the lid—will you?

Reflective Scripture

Come near to God and He will come near to you. James 4:8

Relevant Worship

The Father’s Song by Matt Redman

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Dance

Last Sunday I stood in the middle of a crowded sanctuary worshiping the Holy One. Heavenly melodies swirled through the air captivating our souls with His great love. I closed my eyes and sensed the Lord near. I felt something stirring on His heart. “What is it, Lord?”

Without a word He removed the mufflers from my spiritual ears. I could hear the music with great clarity. Yet, I no longer heard various instruments—only drums. Its rhythm changed to a tribal beat. “Lord, what do you want to show me?”

The Lord showed me a group of native Indians dancing vigorously. They danced relentlessly. Never stopping, never slowing. It was a war dance—a dance for freedom.

I opened my eyes. The sanctuary was the same. The band played on and the people sang their praise to God. Several minutes later the song changed and I watched in wonder as one by one people stepped to the front of the sanctuary. Together, young and old, male and female shared the sacred space at the altar—and danced.

There is a war raging for our freedom and joy. I can feel the impact on my own life. Certainly you notice the tension in yours. The Lord is urging us to fight for our freedom. Our weapon in the battle is none other than the act of worship. Whether it be a skip, jump, or sway take a risk for your breakthrough. Our freedom is found in—the dance.

Will you dance for your freedom?

Reflective Scripture
David danced before the LORD with all his might. 2 Samuel 6:14 NIV

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Galatians 5:1 Message

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.

Let them praise his name with dancing. Psalm 149:3 NIV

Relevant Worship
Dancing Generation by Matt Redman

Shout onto God by Hillsong United

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Riding Tandem

The wind blew gently on my face as my bare feet became wet from the dew topped meadow. Sitting under a canopy of trees I became keenly aware of the sights and sounds surrounding me. Peace washed over me. My mind emptied of concerns, tasks, and time.

“What do you want to show me, Lord?”

He showed me a bicycle built for two. Jesus sat in the front seat. A woman was in the back. His hands were gripped on the handlebars navigating through the passageways at great exhilarating speed. Her hands, released of the handlebars, were lifted high up in the air. Unrestrained joy glowed on her face. She not only trusted the Lord, she enjoyed the ride—wholeheartedly.

“Lord, I am listening. What are you revealing?”

Trust Me in what I am about to do.

In what He is about to do? My mind went back to the last few days. I felt an overwhelming weight that something was coming—something big—something good. And not just for me, but for you, too.

I believe the woman on the bicycle represents the Bride of Christ. I believe God is about to take a turn around a bend that will launch you and me into new things. The things we have contended for in the supernatural will become realized in the natural. He is traveling at a rapid speed and therefore is beckoning us to cultivate a deepening trust with Him.

As I release my grip from the handlebars and lift my hands in worship I pray you will join me --and together we can enjoy the ride.

How is God deepening your trust in Him?
Share your journey…

Reflective Scripture

Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

Relevant Worship

Here In Your Presence by New Life Worship

Revelation Song by Kari Jobe

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Who Knew?

“No! It’s mine.”

Out of nowhere I heard the loud shout. “It’s mine, it’s mine, it’s mine’. I was shocked at the screams of greed. Where was it coming from? Surprised I heard it come from my own heart. The tug-o-war was on. Selfishness showed strength at the start, but soon it was losing its grip. Shamefully the battle was between me and the Lord. Or so I thought. I noticed He never picked up the other end of the rope. I was fighting and losing without His pull. This wasn’t meant to be a fight. And it wasn’t a game. It was a challenge to trust.

I looked into my wallet. Twenties filled it. I pulled one out. I felt the Lord’s presence near. I knew what was coming. His voice echoed in my ear.

 All of it.

All of it, Lord? This is crazy. With His presence near I allowed my will to break. Something was happening in my spirit and I couldn’t ignore it. I looked again in my wallet.  I knew what I must do. Like ripping a band aid off a wound I quickly grabbed the cash and walked to the offering bowl.

Approaching the collection plate for an anonymous family in need of food, a little hand tugged at me. I looked down and saw the face of a little girl. “Can I put it in?” she asked. Caught off guard by this strange request, I handed her the money believing the Lord sent courage to me in the form of this young child.

Back at my seat my head spun, overwhelmed by the last few minutes. To my surprise the Lord was not done. I heard His voice just as intensely as the first time,

Share what you’ve done.

I looked up at the pastor who encouraged testimonies from the microphone. My heart fluttered. ‘I can’t do this, Lord’. As familiar as I was with public speaking, it was never without a thoughtfully prepared script. Quickly my brain started to process to give reason to what happened, yet before I could engage my thoughts Holy Spirit wiped everything clear.

Trust Me.

Through tears and an unscripted spiel I confessed to the congregation my selfishness and decision to trust Him with everything—even money. Shaking, I took my seat again. The service concluded and soon after felt an ease in my spirit. I was able to catch my breath and decide it was all worth it.

But God wasn’t done yet.

This time He was speaking to another woman.

Before I ever left the sanctuary a woman approached me. Stretching her hand out to me she said, “The Lord said this is for you.” I looked at what was in her grip. It was an envelope--a thick envelope. It all began to click. I took a step back. “No” was all I could say. I was in shock. Why would this woman give up money to feed her family? That’s crazy. Convinced she had heard from God she did not relent. As stubborn as this woman was she had an unwavering trust in God.

That night I stood in my kitchen with my well stocked pantry holding an envelope stuffed with money. Guilt washed over me. If only I had known the family was present I would have never shared. The night was filled with regret. What I thought was a journey of trusting God, now led me to doubting His ways. Why Lord? Why did any of this happen?

The next day my husband woke me out of my depression. He had since learned the church filled the family’s pantry with food. This relieved me, but I was still stuck with an insane responsibility to do something “good” with this money. I was lost in my thoughts as my husband chattered excitedly about a seminar. “What are you talking about?” I finally asked.

My husband connected the dots.

A month earlier he came across an organization for speakers and writers. A seminar was scheduled up north and he believed it would be beneficial to God’s purpose in my life. It was an impossible idea. We had zero money to chase after dreams. Not to mention intentionally pursuing my dream translated into a life of taking risks, which meant possible failure. No, I preferred comfort and predictability. The only way I could appease my husband’s excitement was to suggest if God wants me there, He will provide the money.

The envelope held the very amount we needed—plus gas money for the trip.

Apparently, God wanted me there.

A few days later I sat in the company of other writers and speakers for a three day seminar. Wouldn’t you know it—it changed my life. It single handedly launched me further into my destiny and deepened my trust in the Lord in exponential ways.

Who knew giving my all would be multiplied and returned to me? Who knew my public confession would become a marker moment in my journey? Who knew a needy family would guide me to my future? Who knew I would grow weary of comfort and predictability? Who knew a desire would birth to risk for the sake of others. Who knew?

He knew. He knew all along.

Are you willing to take a risk to pursue God’s purpose in your life?
Trust Him. He will not disappoint.

This blog is dedicated to the relentless woman who invested into my destiny.
Thank you CLASSeminars who facilitated the Lord's great work in me.

Post your comment here and be entered to win an autographed copy Kathi Lipp’s new book The ME Project. It’s all about pursuing your God given dream.

Deadline to enter is midnight PST on Sunday, March 13, 2011
Winner will be posted in Comment section under this blog on Monday, March 14th

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dusting off Destiny

I saw her appear out of nowhere. There was something about her. She was a stranger, yet surprisingly familiar. The Lord’s presence drew near and time slowed as He asked me, What do you see?

I saw a simple woman—plain at that. She stood barefoot, dressed in a tank top and jeans. Her hair was unkempt and except for the smudge of mascara under her eyes she wore no make-up. She appeared to be an average woman—ordinary.

The Lord prodded for more. What do you see? I focused intensely for a few moments. Looking past her plain face I saw vulnerability. She exuded courage.

The Lord touched my heart. Once again He asked, What do you see? I felt the eyes of my heart awakening. I could now see a divine purpose deposited into her very soul. I could see her destiny.

The Lord poured His own sight into mine. What do you see? My spirit agonized at the sight. I saw hearts sinking, dying as the enemy pushed them down into a muddy pit. I saw chaos break out as hearts were captured. “Lord, this is too much. Take your sight away from me.”

Look again. This time I saw her—eyes bright and focused. There was something rising up within her.

The Lord’s sight stayed within me. This ordinary woman now radiated great power and strength. With a sword in her grip she courageously and skillfully slays the enemy one by one. As the enemy’s camp lay bloodied and defeated at her feet, hearts lifted to freedom—to victory.

In a blink of an eye she was gone. “Lord, where did she go?” I could not deny I was drawn to this stranger. Such extraordinary boldness welled up in me as I watched her fight. And I knew in my spirit there were more hearts to set free. “Will she be back, Lord?”

It’s up to you, Dear One.


Beloved, she is who you are to be.

“Lord, I don’t...”

Beloved, the woman is you. It is you whom I have destined to set captives free.

Everything made sense now. The Lord allowed me to watch my own destiny. I saw what I could be if only…if only I believed…

 I trust you, Beloved. Now trust Me. It’s time. I have given you everything you need for the battle. Take your sword out of its sheath—be the warrior I have called you to be.

His gaze turned to my sword sitting dormant in the corner. Retrieving it I blew off the layers of dust. Slowly I freed the weapon from its sheath. The echo of the metal scrapping the casing took my breath away. The sound released new authority deep within. Standing with unwavering confidence I caught my reflection in the unused blade. It was her—she was pleading me to lift my sword, to enter the battle, to set the captives free.

Looking up my eyes met with my Lord’s. I felt power and strength rising from His adoration and approval. It was time.

Beloved, this is your destiny. I will be with you—always. Now go, many hearts are waiting to be set free.

What has God called you to?
There’s a world waiting for you to walk in your destiny…

Reflective Scripture

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for He has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free. Luke 4:18

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. Jeremiah 29:11

Relevant Worship

Where You Go I Go by Kim Walker-Smith/Jesus Culture