Search:

THE SILVER PLATTER

January 22nd, 2009

 

 

God often speaks to us in dreams, visions and parables.  Having grown up in a denominational church that did not speak at all about the supernatural, this form of communication was foreign to me.   As I look back now, I am amazed at how easily the enemy had been able to hide these truths from me – after all, I had read through my Bible a number of times.  Apparently I glossed over the huge wealth of teaching based on the things that cannot be seen with our natural eyes.  I suppose I did not stretch my mind because I had no idea there was so much more of God than what I had experienced in my small world. 

 

Dead religion was always a burden for me, and it was only guilt, and fear of man’s opinion, that kept me showing up for church.  Later in life, when I found myself in a Charismatic congregation, I discovered that church could offer more than standing up and sitting down, boring recitations, and dry sermons.  Suddenly my whole life was turned upside down.  How grateful I am that the Lord drew me out of my little box and showed me a tiny piece of eternity, inviting me to drink deeply of its wealth.  Oh the depth of the riches of His glory in which He invites us to participate!  Now, every day I wake up hungry for more of Him. 

 

Even before I acknowledged and embraced my gift of writing, I was jotting down bits and pieces of stories and revelations I got from dreams, visions, and those downloads I call ‘knowings’.  I had a collection of paper but no direction about what to do with all that stuff.  As I began to share my words with friends and family, and they began to encourage me to share my writings with others, God began to show me that from the beginning, He had a plan for all that loose paper.  Of course – He always has a plan, and it is always good. 

 

What joy it is to follow His direction, crafting the words He gives me into stories and parables, and posting them on the internet!  I also plan to put the stories into a book some day.  Since I saved a number of those bits and pieces of paper that had accumulated over the past eight years, now I can go back and chew on the bounty He had set before me – and transform them into more stories to share.  The following is from an earlier writing, which the Holy Spirit has prompted me to spruce up and post.

 

In a vision, the Lord showed me a large and shiny silver platter, filled from edge to edge with beautifully decorated small boxes of various sizes and shapes.  This was God’s baby gift, given to me at my birth.  The platter itself was intended to represent my free will, which He has given to each of us, freely and unconditionally.  Each box placed on the platter represented a choice or a decision that would direct my life.

 

Initially my platter was filled by my parents as they exercised my free will for me.  However, as I grew into adolescence, I slowly began to remove some of the packages, as I discovered that my own will often differed from that of my parents, replacing the packages with choices more to my liking.  Thus began a game of take-away, put-back, and take-away-again between my parents and me.  Every year I gained a little more ground as my parents were forced to retreat, and soon the entire surface of the tray was filled with boxes representing my own life choices.  I found that in order to add a new box to my already full platter, I would have to remove something else presently on the tray.  (In finance, this is called “opportunity cost.”  The true cost of one choice or decision I make is the value of whatever I have to give up in exchange for the new choice; i.e., the cost of staying up late is the loss of my early morning walk; or, if I spend all my county fair money at the concession stand, my funnel cake cost me a ride on the roller coaster.)

 

When the Lord invited me to examine the boxes, I was surprised to find that, although they were beautifully wrapped, some were hollow on the inside.  I had to admit that too often I was guilty of making choices that looked good on the outside, but were empty on the inside.  Next, He showed me a few boxes He had to offer.  These were not beautiful at all, but were covered in scratchy burlap with no adorning of ribbons or decorations.  When I was tempted to decline the offer, surprised and disappointed that these boxes were not beautiful at all, He invited me to take a closer look.  These boxes were heavy, solidly filled with depth and substance, and the longer I gazed at them, the more beautiful they became, giving off a heavenly fragrance and offering up the promise of deep fulfillment for my soul and spirit.

 

Upon seeing the value and the inner beauty of these boxes, I began to reach for them, but I was quickly reminded that my platter was already full.  To take one of these boxes offered by the Lord meant I would have to remove a box already in place to make room on my platter.  Would I be willing to let go of choices I made in my flesh, and replace them with the true gold, the Will of God?  He loves me so much that He will always allow me to exercise my free will.  His love will also allow me to experience the consequences of each decision I make.  Every day I make new choices, and each small decision impacts the rest of my life.

 

In re-examining this story, I can see that when I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life, He took me at my word.  Almost immediately He began to show me small pieces of His plan for me, inviting me to step out of the ways of the world and walk in the ways of the Kingdom.  I see now that many boxes on my platter were empty, uselessly taking up space.  Some looked good on the outside, but inside they contained things I would not want exposed to the light.  Some boxes contained good things, but Jesus taught me that often ‘good’ is the enemy of ‘best’ for me.  Some boxes were very large but contained very little inside, while other boxes were overstuffed.

 

This morning I asked the Lord if this message is relevant for today, and He assured me that the message is more relevant than I realize.  These are exciting times for the church, and we must be ready to serve in the Lord’s army.  As the world’s system begins to crumble, many will look to us for direction and reassurance.  The ‘boxes’ we have placed on our platters will define us in these last days.  Choose well.

 

 

I Corinthians 12:1

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant.

 

Ephesians 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

 

Ephesians 1:18-19

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.

 

Romans 6:12a

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.

 

I Corinthians 12:31a

But earnestly desire the best gifts.

 

Ephesians 4:7-8

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”

TESTIMONY TO PSALM 91

November 20th, 2008

 

Several months ago while browsing in the Christian bookstore, I was drawn to a book called Psalm 91 – God’s Shield of Protection, written by an author unknown to me, some lady with three first names (Peggy Joyce Ruth).  I was searching for something else so I walked away, but the Holy Spirit seemed to keep drawing my attention back to that book.  I resisted – I always leave the store with more books than I can possibly read – but sure enough that book came home with me.

 

Several weeks later, the Psalm 91 book made its way to the top of my reading stack.  As I read the book, the promises contained in this chapter of Scripture stirred my heart, and I was sorry I had not picked the book up sooner.  My spirit immediately grasped the importance and the timeliness of this message.  The more I read, the more God’s covenant promise of protection comforted me in an entirely new way.  The Holy Spirit’s drawing me to purchase this book was no doubt an invitation to a divine appointment with God.  Reading and pondering, my spirit digested every verse and every promise of Psalm 91. 

 

Because I firmly believe that the covenant promises in Psalm 91 can keep us safe in the days to come, I purchased a book for each of my children and for each of the intercessors who pray for our ministry.  Those who have already received their books were excited to learn more about God’s offer of covering for those who truly dwell in the secret place of the Most High God.

 

Having received new revelation of God’s Psalm 91 protection over me, I pressed in for a deeper understanding of how I activate His promise.  I spent much time searching my heart to be sure that I was indeed dwelling in that secret place.  I became more aware of a new peace in my spirit, and I experienced a heightened awareness of the protection under which I walk.  Little did I know how soon the Lord would move to confirm His promise to me.

 

On the evening of November 11, I drove myself to a missions base where we minister, which is located a few miles outside of town on a secondary two-lane highway.  The road was wet and the weather was rainy and foggy, so I drove very cautiously.  Heavy traffic was coming toward me but only two other cars were going my direction, one car in front of me and another one some distance behind me.  I prayed as I drove, remaining peacefully attentive in the difficult driving conditions.

 

Suddenly I found myself driving on the shoulder, and my heart started pounding because I knew I had not driven myself off the highway.  Time seemed to stand still as I saw that the car in front of me had suddenly turned off the highway and onto a side road.  My mind raced as I fought back fear and confusion.   Then I saw a semi tractor-trailer coming toward me – I thought he was going to take off my side mirror as we met.  There he was, driving in my lane, with his lane full of cars.  Had I not been supernaturally taken off the highway, I would have been hit head-on by that semi.  Only God could have accomplished this for me, removing my car and me from certain destruction. 

 

Meanwhile, my husband was also on that same highway, coming from the opposite direction.  He saw the semi in front of him, switching back and forth from lane to lane.  When he reached for his phone to call and warn me, he was led to not call.  He said it seemed as though the Lord pushed his hand away from his cell phone.  So, he settled back and began praying for me.

 

Still moving forward, I drove back onto the highway and headed for my destination.  Needless to say, I was significantly moved by the event, knowing I had just experienced a divine rescue.  I must admit that I am still a bit shaken, often finding myself crying tears of joy and wonder.  I am incredibly grateful to inform you that last week the enemy’s attempt to take me out was unsuccessful, and I was not hit head-on by a semi.  I continue to live, and to tell you about the goodness of God and His faithful commitment to His covenant promise in Psalm 91.

 

 

Psalm 91

 

1.  He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty

2.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” 

3.  Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. 

4.  He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. 

5.  You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day,

6.  Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 

7.  A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. 

8.   Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. 

9.  Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place,

10.  No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; 

11.  For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways,

12.  In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. 

13.  You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample under foot. 

14.  “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.

15.  He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 

16.  With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.”

WHEN DREAMS ARE SHATTERED

September 13th, 2008

 

Here I sit on a rock, in the middle of a grassy field boasting an abundance of brightly colored wildflowers.  All is peaceful, as the sweet aroma of fresh grass fills my nostrils and my ears tune in to the mating call of a distant bird.  The warm sun kisses my face and a fresh breeze cools my skin.  Without a care in the world, the taste of life is sweet indeed.

 

As I lean back and breathe in the wonder of it all, I hold onto the vision, not wanting to ever have to leave that place.  But I know that at any second, reality will bring me back to that painful place in my soul, where my dreams have been shattered and my life appears to be hanging in the balance.  Once again, heartache grips me and my countenance falls.

 

What do I do, now that my dreams are shattered?  How can I make sense of it all?  Whatever happened to all the arrangements I made and brought about by my actions?  All was set into perfect order; how could it have all fallen apart so quickly?  What went wrong – should I have foreseen this train wreck?  And now what do I do with all the pain?  I see my heart strewn in a million pieces at my feet, and I do not have the emotional strength to even pick them up.  Maybe they will be swept away by the wind and I can move on, destined to live a heartless life.   

 

Oh God, when all my remedies fail, I come to You for help.  (When will I learn to come to You first?)  Yes, I do admit these are my own well-thought-out plans spread all around me, and not necessarily Your plans.  In my defense, I point out that only recently have I begun to understand Your desire to be the center of every part of my life.  Only now do I see that you long to be brought into the core of every plan and operation of my life.  No doubt, as I look around, I must admit that my own will formed the foundation of my plans. I settled in my heart to have my way, as they say, by hook or by crook.  I sit on the ground, arms crossed, and assess the wreckage.

 

My heartfelt prayer, Lord, is a plea that You would set my plans back into place and restore my shattered dreams.  But as I cry out to You, in pain too deep for words, I find that the heavens are brass. I stand up, beat my breast, and cry out in anguish.  You don’t appear to be responding, and no amount of waiting mixed with crying seems to get Your attention.  God, have You abandoned me?  Can you not see how desperately I need Your help?  Are my worst fears coming to pass, and I am indeed all alone in this place?  Oh, God! I cry out as my knees sink to the floor.   I am as good as dead.  Without You, I know I am as good as dead.  Bitter grief engulfs me as I hide my face and sob until there are no tears left.

 

Suddenly the room seems very still.  Did I say, “Dead”?  Wait a minute, could that word have opened the heavens?  I begin to sense a stirring in my spirit.  I lie on the ground, face down, my entire body quiet.   My soul is anxious as I lie still, waiting for revelation.  And as I lie there barely breathing, I sense a moving of the Holy Spirit, covering me like a warm blanket.

 

Like a home movie, memories of events leading up to this moment rush through my mind.  Suddenly I am aware of the shallowness, and the dangers, of my hopes and plans and dreams, all of which lie in ruin.  For the first time, I begin to understand the truth about the train I had fashioned.  I hold my breath as the train rushes at breakneck speed, heading toward certain disaster.  But seconds before it crashes into the side of a mountain, suddenly the tracks are pulled up.  My train stops abruptly, with cars tipping over on either side of the tracks.  I hold my breath while all my dreams appear to shatter as they hit the ground.

 

As I peek out from under my blanket, I hear what sounds like cheering from heaven, as if a victory has just been won.  Rather than crying out in frustration, something in my spirit longs to jump up and cheer with them.  However, the blanket over me is warm and much too cozy to abandon, so I continue to lie still.  It is in this place where revelation comes:  a life run on self-will can only come to ruin.  I must die to my own self-centered and self-destructive plans if I want to live a victorious life.  What felt like the shattering of my dreams was actually God protecting me from myself, as my plans and His plans for me came to a showdown.  No doubt He could have let my plans come to pass without interruption, but would a loving Daddy allow his girl to run headlong into disaster without giving her an opportunity for a second chance?  At this point, I can choose to call the track repair team to set the track back in working order, bring in a winch to set the train back on the track, and proceed toward the mountain looming ahead – after all, I have been given a free will.  Or, I can choose to put my life and my plans in God’s hands, and ask Him for direction and guidance.   After all, He knows the end from the beginning.  He sees the entire picture while I only see a tiny portion.  He knows what is best for me much more than I do.  And, He has all the resources to offer me an abundant life.  When I acknowledge that He loves me with a passion deeper than I will ever fathom, in response to that love, my heart truly longs to glorify Him.  (He placed that longing in me when He formed me in His likeness.)

 

So, you know what happens next!  I roll over onto my back, lift my hands toward heaven, and offer to God all my shattered dreams, my high praises, and my heart.  I crawl to the foot of the Cross where Jesus paid for all my mistakes and transgressions.  I heave wracking sobs of repentant grief, mixed with wondrous joy in the knowledge that His mercies are new every morning.  I rest in the assurance that His dreams for me will never be shattered.  He said He has plans for me, plans for a hope and a future. I surrender my life to Him, and set my course according to His perfect plan for me.

 

 

Proverbs 16:25

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

 

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.


 Isaiah 55:8-9

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.   “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

 

Jeremiah 33:3

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and might things which you do not know.

 

Isaiah 5:21

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!

 

Lamentations 3:22-23

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

 

I Chronicles 16:34

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  For His mercy endures forever.