I know I just wrote something and in the world of blogging, I don’t think you’re supposed to write one on top of another. But since my intent really isn’t to be a blogger, but simply to share what the Lord is whispering to me, I figure it's okay.
The things the Lord has been showing me feel a bit like a state of emergency. So I feel a weight to share this - sooner than later. And I believe with everything in me that we have the ability to speak life, to speak things that are on the Lord’s heart into action and into being. So that is my prayer.
For the past couple weeks, I’ve been seeing emergency sirens in my dreams and visions, something I have learned over the years indicates that the Lord wants me to pay attention. So when I picked up the phone the other morning and saw an amber alert, I knew to start praying and pay attention. And then all at once, my heart dropped and my pulse began racing and I knew what the Lord has been trying to tell me. In one swift moment, all the different pieces fell into place. Those pieces, this message, is for me, but I also believe it’s for you.
I couldn’t sleep the other night and so I did as I often do, I began praying. Suddenly, I heard the word “Treason” in my spirit. Then over and over, that same word on repeat - treason, treason, treason. I’m not sure about you, but that’s a big word to me. A weighty word that actually feels slightly uncomfortable. I couldn’t figure out why I was hearing this particular word. But at this point I knew there was no way I was going to be able to sleep until I heard more from the Lord. And what I’m realizing in this season of reading through the Old Testament, is that the Lord has been giving me big, weighty, seemingly harsh words for a specific reason. I still don’t understand what He is telling me in all of them, but what I do recognize is that He is showing me correction and direction in words and tone that match that of the Old Testament. It’s a bit intimidating, but I love how creative He is in speaking to me, meeting me where I’m at. And it makes me all the more excited to keep digging into books like Deuteronomy to better understand how He guided the Israelites in those days.
Anyway, as I was praying through it, I felt prompted to look up the definition of treason. I’m not sure why these things continually surprise me, but once again I was surprised when I read through what I felt like the Lord was directing me towards. A good old google definition. Although, strangely, it wasn’t the definition that struck me - but rather the example given to help give clarification to the word. The definition of treason: the action of betraying someone or something. The example: “Doubt is the ultimate treason against faith”. And one of the synonyms: faithlessness. Yikes. In case you missed it the first time...doubt is the ultimate treason against faith.
As years get added to our lives, so does tradition, religion, fear, hardship, you name it. All the things that begin to define the walls and ridges we put up around our lives. It’s understandable, life is hard and it tends to make us hard. It’s what becomes our “I can’t”, instead of our “I can”.
Do you remember when you were young? If you were like me, childhood involved dressing up and pretending we were something pretty amazing. The world was at our fingertips and as little people with big eyes, we believed with all our might that if we just stood on our tip toes we could reach up and grab it. Mine involved dreaming big dreams, playing make-believe and laughing so hard my sides hurt. I miss that. And if you didn’t get to have that as a child, I pray you get to experience it in your life where you’re at right now. There’s a video where a father is tearing paper for his baby and the baby is laughing hysterically. It’s contagious and fun to see such joy in a little baby that hadn’t yet been jaded by the hurts of the world. But what I love most about this video is that the little guy is laughing even though there is a tearing occurring. Even amidst the mess. And the father is ultimately allowing it to bring joy. When is the last time you’ve had the kind of laughter and joy of a child? In the Lord? When is the last time you entrusted your Father like a child trusts his daddy? Or laughed at something torn (by your Father), laughing in the mess, laughing from deep within?
I had a dream recently where I and another member of our team were tasked with arranging the office furniture. We looked around and became instantly overwhelmed. The furniture was old and mismatched. None of the spaces seemed to work for the furniture we had and it seemed nearly impossible. So we each took to a different corner of the room where there were piles of toys. And we did what seemed to make the most sense at the moment. We sat down and played with toys. All kinds of fun, colorful toys, set out uniquely for each of us. And we thoroughly enjoyed it.
As I prayed about the meaning behind the dream, the message the Lord gave me was loud and clear. God isn’t asking us to be overwhelmed, to fill our space and time with the old mindset of work, filling space just to fill it because we’re all grown up and that’s what the world expects of us. Not when He has something better. He has bright colored toys, He has rest. But it comes from sitting. And He made it very clear to me - it comes from sitting with Him. Playing as if I were a child.
I’m not advocating quitting work and responsibility. I’m asking if our heads, bodies and spirits have gotten so worn down with the weight of the world, and the scheme of the enemy to “steal the child”, that we’ve maybe forgotten to take time to “play” with the Lord? I believe God was showing me that it is when we are trying so hard to please man that the “overwhelming” steps in. And the doubt creeps in. Because we’ve lost our connection to the One who ultimately gives us our purpose. And it’s crazy, because in that doubt, disappointment, hurt, hardness or whatever the enemy tosses our way, we lose the fact that when we accepted Christ, we became that “pretty amazing” that we imagined as a child. The world? Given to us. By the grace of God we grew tall enough to reach. But for some reason so many of us have hung our play clothes and ball gowns in the closet. We stopped reaching. We stopped believing that God would give us the world. Or if He did that we could be anything of importance to do something with it.
I opened an email the other day that struck a chord with me...a word that Wendy Alec, co-founder of God-TV, wrote...
"Lay Down Your Broom...(you) have been watching others going to the ball for so long in this season, that many have completely given up that they would ever go to the ball themselves. But the fairytale carriage is there; it awaits them. I am about to exchange their rags and work clothes for the most incredible ball gown they have ever seen. I am escorting them with My angelic host out of this past season of isolation, of hardship, of aridness, of survival mode, and exchanging their rags for beauty. Lay down your broom, Cinderella, the enemy has been raging against you for too long...For I have laid out your ball gown and your sparkling dancing shoes. Wash your face from the tears, for you are My Esther, My Deborah; My princess. In this encounter, I looked down at myself and I was dressed in rags. My hands were work-worn and I had on no makeup. I was living in 'survival mode' for so long, just having enough courage for the day. The Father
said, 'Enough is enough. My princesses are going to the ball and nothing and no enemy can stop their destiny which is about to come forth. I watched and I saw that the Father's Cinderellas had been so beaten down and were so weary that they had lost sight of their dreams that once lived in vibrant Technicolor—that they couldn't even believe they would actually ever get to the ball. Then the Father said, 'The carriage is waiting, your ball gown is laid out, the winds of change are blowing—your tide is about to turn. Discard your mourning, survival work clothes and put on your ball gown. Wash the dust of the past season's warfare off your feet and put on your dancing shoes.'"
After reading this, I promptly went into my closet and dug out, then put on, a fancy dress. Seriously. My daughter laughed a bit and I think maybe I’ve sealed the title of the quirkiest in my family. I don’t really care. I don’t want to be done having a faith so big that says I’m everything God designed me to be. I don’t want to listen to an enemy anymore who puts doubt in front of me and says that I don’t matter. Because I do matter - to the One who loves me most. And He has a plan and a purpose for me. He has a plan and purpose for you. And the enemy’s best tactic against us...to steal the child. Steal our dreams. Steal our purpose. Steal our faith. But the Lord has more for us and I say it’s time to take it back.
If we have accepted Christ as our Savior then I believe we have a “back to the beginning” moment that we can go back to. As the song Simple Gospel by United Pursuit says “Lord take me back - back to the beginning, when I was young, running in fields with you.” That’s the place. Where we are crazy enough to run through fields with the Lord, crazy in love, crazy enough to believe that we are more than what we ourselves can see. That we are what God sees. Dressed in our purpose. That’s where I believe faith lives. When we have the faith of a child to believe that God could actually use us. You. Me.
I challenge you today to do something that makes you feel like a kid again. And I challenge you to sit with the Lord, uninhibited. Maybe even in a ball gown or in a pair of cowboy boots. I’ve got a stash of old prom dresses that just might make their appearance again. And now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I have a tiara tucked away somewhere.
It’s going to take going back to that field and taking the time to sit down and play with our Father. Even amidst the torn paper and the mess. Especially because of the torn paper and mess. Because when we know and trust the heart of our Father and enjoy being with Him above anything else...doubt dissolves, purpose rises.
"And Jesus answered them, 'Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him." Mark 11:22-24