Surrender

The Spirit is Willing

Living water

Hi everyone, Jeanne here.  God’s blessings of peace and joy from sunny, chilly Minnesota, where the leaves are a riot of color in the golden light, but you can see your breath if you’re out before sunrise.  October 2021 might go down in my memory as the month where God started to take me up a notch.  I’ll try to explain, but it will take a bit of context. 

We’ve all heard, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Some may even recall that these were Jesus’ words to Peter, James, and John in the garden of Gethsemane, as Jesus was sweating blood and the disciples were… sleeping.  Apart from the Biblical meaning, the expression is used to describe good intentions thwarted by a lack of self-discipline. But lately, I’m seeing this phrase from another angle.

A few weeks ago in my prayer time, I heard, “Stop talking about healing and start doing it.” Don’t laugh, but my first reaction was, “God? Is that you?” He immediately reminded of the time several years ago when he told me to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. So yes, this was clearly from God, and furthermore it wasn’t the first time he’d said it to me.  It was around this same time that I got my new perspective on this phrase.  Please bear with me as I share my thought process.

Jesus described the Spirit as rivers of living water flowing from believers. Water takes the path of least resistance, so if I want the Spirit to flow through me (for instance, in order to bring healing to someone) I need to get the obstacles out of the way.  Ideally, I would simply be the empty vessel through which Holy Spirit flows to encounter those around me. I realized that the Holy Spirit is willing to work through me, but my flesh, my unrepentant self, is weak.  

For me, one obvious hindrance to the flow of the Spirit is pride.  When I’m being led to get outside my comfort zone, I immediately wonder: What will someone think of me?  Even as this becomes less of a problem for me, there are many, many more ways that I’m not fully yielded.  When I asked the Lord to show me how I was blocking the flow of life-giving water, he pointed to John 14:15 where Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”  It didn’t take me long to find a whole mess of Jesus’ commandments that I struggle to obey.

  • Turn the other cheek
  • Take up your cross and follow me
  • Love one another as I have loved you
  • Bless those who curse you
  • Forgive as you have been forgiven
  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength
  • Let your “Yes” be yes and your “No” be no
  • Love your enemies
  • Give to the one who asks you
  • Be perfect as your Father is perfect
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
  • Watch and pray
  • Do not judge
  • Do not worry about tomorrow
  • Do not be afraid

I could go on and on, but you get the point.  Don’t get the wrong idea; there was no condemnation in this revelation of how incredibly short I fall.  Jesus isn’t beating me up; he’s just answering my question.   I don’t have to be perfect for the Spirit to use me.  Coming to grips with the true weakness of my flesh is a good thing!

 My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Knowing how weak I am in my flesh helps me to both appreciate and to rely on the grace God has deposited in my spirit.  I don’t have to summon up the courage to reach out. I don’t need to manufacture the power to heal. It’s not even my job to fashion the right words to pray for someone.  I believe Holy Spirit will work powerfully as I yield, and he is able to do far more than I could even imagine.  I’ve always loved the Dwight L. Moody quote, “The world has yet to see what God can do with someone who is fully consecrated to him.”  To that I reply, “The flesh is weak, but the Spirit is willing!

Somehow this process of re-learning what is my responsibility and what is God’s has brought me great hope for the coming season.  I’m not sure I’ve conveyed it well, but I’ll pray that the Spirit fills in the gaps I’ve left.  Please, share your thoughts in the comments.

               Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.  (John 7:37-39)


We NEED This Hammer and Nail. A MUST READ!

Hammer and NailKingdom Warriors, we have been talking about the Kingdom lifestyle here for a number of weeks. Previously, we have covered the Kingdom structure, our book of destiny, and assignments, how the devil steals our blessings, the angels and more. From here my posts are likely to be a bit more sporadic, as far as various topics, about the Kingdom of Yahwey. I’m going to write like I have for the past 15 years. And that is this: What God is teaching me; I’m going to share with you.

Also, one of my sister’s in arms, Martha Bush, is joining the team and will contribute to the conversations a few times a month. She is on the Jericho journey right now and has a lot to share about how she is walking through the journey and how fantastic it has been. So watch for her a few Thursday’s a month.

Today, I want to talk about a nail and a hammer.

Yep, today’s topic is one of those that isn’t an exciting and life-changing moment in the realm of glory. It’s a tedious and all out difficult and necessary components of growing into mature and powerful sons and daughters of God.

It’s surrender. It’s quick obedience. It’s truly letting go of what you “think” is absolutely necessary for your happiness.

Ahem, THAT is where I’m living right now. In the past year I have lived through some tremendous losses. At least that’s how I perceived this past season. But, our God is soooo good, so kind, what was actually happening was His revealing of several hidden idols that lurked in my spirit and soul.

I’m going to be vulnerable and share the real deal here. In the past 12 months, my husband and I lived without an income for six months. Also, I literally thought I was going to die in November of 2019. Furthermore, a number of other truly wrenching things occurred. During that time, I came to realize that in my heart I was looking to finances as a safety net. Everything in the last 12 months has been about removing the idol of Mammon (That’s money).

Ugh!

Mammon /ˈmæmən/ in the New Testament of the Bible is commonly thought to mean money, material wealth, or any entity that promises wealth, and is associated with the greedy pursuit of gain. ... Mammon in Hebrew (ממון) means "money".

So, this past year I’ve taken my “false” security of financial security and nailed that thing to the cross with a big ‘ole hammer. I’ve crucified my pride over my credit report, which remained undamaged through all of this, but I sure learned I held that silly number in high esteem. I thought I was going to die at one point, go bankrupt and destroy my credit rating. And for a former banker, this scenario rested upon my soul as, horrible.

Boy howdy, I had to learn what real trust was all about.

The interesting thing about this past season is I didn’t know these things were in me. I didn’t understand I put my faith in a false god to take care of me.

One day, the Lord revealed all of it. ALL OF IT. Well at least I hope that’s all of it. AND ONCE AGAIN I slogged off to the cross with true and humble repentance in my heart and upon my lips, and I nailed all of these false sense of securities to the cross of Jesus Christ.

IT IS FINISHED.

I honestly emerged from this with a new trust in my Lord. It doesn’t matter if the whole world burns down, which in our current social climate, it might. It doesn’t matter because if God says He will take care of me, His child. HE WILL! I hear Him so much better now. I won’t make a decision without Him. I talk to Him all day long. It’s thrilling. Amazing!

So, my fellow sojourners who are traveling toward heaven with me, what needs a nail and a hammer? I’ll slog with you to the cross and together we will bow and allow the cleansing blood of our Savior set us straight and heal our every wound and wash away every lie of the deceiver.

I’ll pray with you about your nail and hammer. Let me know in the comments. I love you, Lynn