HOW TO OBTAIN JOY, PEACE, TREASURES, SUCCESS AND LEAVE A LEGACY…
Recently, I have been contemplating my spirituality and dreams. The spirit has prompted me to ask questions of myself such as: Who do I want to be like? Besides the ultimate goal of being like Jesus – Of those with significant spiritual, emotional, and family successes, who do I want to be like?
Do I want to be like many today? – Trying to fit in with the world and deny who we are in small areas.
Or those who want to do enough to seem successful without truly having to deny themselves?
Do I want to be passionate and do the hard work spiritually as well as looking into new or useful methods? Or, do I want to be lazy, seeking methodology only and trying to use entertainment to reach the lost because I am not flowing in the Spirit? Will I fall into a trap in which I choose not to be different and allow our church to be known for it’s great programs only and nice people? Or will I be who I am in Christ and flow in the Spirit to such a degree that I am a pipeline for the spirit? A conduit for his power. Enabling him to continue on and DRAW the revival to him?
In the second scenario my name is not known, my church name may not be known, but they will know JESUS!**
Once my pastor was seeking the Lord and asked what these “legends of Apostolic Revival,” had in common? What secret formula did they obtain? Was there a secret program of the time period that they followed then or now?
No, said the Lord, their common element is FASTING, PRAYER, SACRIFICE!
God told him there was no way around it. If you want to be significant in God’s kingdom and your family… you MUST do these things consistently.
God has also been dealing with me about the power and flowing of the spirit of God in life and churches. I came upon this:
FLOW - by Nona Freeman
APRIL 8, 2015-from Nona Freeman’s book ‘In the Bag’
We loved with a love that was more than love. We camped in makeshift quarters in 1952 while we built our home in South Africa. During an invasion of non-poisonous spiders (the size of a small fist), we became so weary of getting up at night to identify “something that crawled across my arm” or “on my face” that we bought the older children a small flashlight so they could conduct some of the frequently needed ‘spider’ investigations. When the brilliant light in my face nudged me out of sound sleep, I thought a spider-hunter needed help. I opened my eyes to see a Being clothed in exquisite light standing by my bed. I trembled, immobilized by fear. ‘Do not be afraid”, a soft yet vibrant voice answered my distress, “I am a messenger sent by God to give you the secret of revival.”
Disturbed by our ineffectual outreach to the lost, my husband and I shared a time of prayer and fasting that ended early in November. He left the next day for the Eastern Transvaal to visit a new church; I took charge of the service in the current tent meeting in an area called Claremont. The heavenly visitor came the following morning at 3:00 AM and said, “I am here in response to your cry for a Pentecostal outpouring.” He unrolled a large parchment scroll before me containing the words of Jesus in John 7:38; “He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water,” The tremendous scripture before me did not prevent the intrusion of the carnal thought, “How many times we have used that text!” (we found it a significant introduction of the Gospel to first-time hearers.)
An unspoken chill of rebuke swept away my smug satisfaction, and my heart whispered, “Forgive my ignorance.” The angel commanded sternly, “look at the scroll!” As I looked carefully, I saw one word become prominent….the word FLOW enlarged and appeared to be set with scintillating diamonds sparkling beautifully. “Last night, at the service at the tent, you sang of mercy drops and showers of blessings.” His voice gentled, “You preached about drawing water out of the wells of salvation with joy. You know, but you do not comprehend the limitless scope of the gift of God. Jesus wants to deluge you and the thirsty world with ‘rivers’ of His Holy Ghost Power. The will of God is not mercy drops or showers or even buckets full of blessings. It is torrential rivers of His Spirit constantly flowing through you.
You have depended on conducive arrangements, the ‘right’ atmosphere, your eloquence, your experiences and human understanding to mellow hearts and make them receptive to the gospel. You have worked long and hard to set the stage, bringing the service to the point that you consider ‘ready’ for the preaching of the Word - all in your own strength - and the results are extremely disappointing.
If you could only understand, it is not what you can do, but what He will do if you allow His Spirit to FLOW. Jesus is looking for empty vessels, empty canals, empty pipes, if you please, that He can pour Himself through without obstruction. That is HIS plan. The Spirit of God is not visible, but I will let you see it as a rainbow-colored light so you can comprehend its operation.”
Suddenly, a church service appeared before me. The preacher spoke with great emphasis; one hand uplifted while the other one held the open Bible. I heard encouraging Amens! and Hallelujahs! from the congregation. The question came, “Do you feel the dead formality?” And I saw God’s hand sweep the whole scene away. “It looked and sounded real”, I thought, yet I felt something lacking.
Another service took its place. The preacher gave the same message with identical posture and gestures, but what a difference! A Victoria waterfall of dazzling light with the consistency of water, in the colors of the rainbow poured into him and flowed from his mouth and fingertips with each word and each motion. I saw the glorious phenomenon spread all over the church.
People either sat quietly or worshipped in graceful sincerity, while the uniquely lovely ‘flow’ swept through them to fill the church with the Glory of God. I noticed the welcome absence of a ‘cheering squad’ spirit. An arrogant man came in and sat by a smiling older couple. Without his awareness , the Spirit poured through the gracious saints and swirled around him, dissolving both his sneer and composure.
Soon, he pretended to cough for an excuse to reach for his handkerchief and surreptitiously wipe tears from his cheek. Forgetting his aversion to prayer, he leapt to his feet with a terrible cry, “I’m lost! My God have mercy on me!” He fell sobbing to the floor and stretched full-length in the aisle. The grey-haired pair knelt beside him and rejoiced as God took control of a newly surrendered heart.
The angel enabled me to see both inside the church and the surrounding area at the same time. I watched the amazing beauty of worship…no twisted faces, or wild body contortions. The ineffably lovely Spirit streamed through the worshippers and billowed over the whole neighborhood. I mused, “As this Holy influence spreads, hearts will be softened and lives changed without the blessed even knowing how it even came about.”
I have long known that an evil presence can fill a house or town through a possessed person or people. Now I wondered why I had not realized that God’s Spirit will work the same way through yielded lives. A woman wearing shabby house shoes and an apron tied over a shapeless dress, coming from the corner store, ambled down the sidewalk across the street from the church. She had a loaf of bread in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
The congregation sang a mellow, old song and the sweet sound flowed out in rainbow-hued clouds surrounding the woman. She stopped, and stood staring for a few moments, dropped both the bread and the cigarette and buried her face in her apron weeping, “I’m sinner…I need God!” Without consultation or an audible order, two women came from opposite sides of the church directed to a soul in need.
They embraced her as they prayed for her. Minutes later, they led her into the church while she glorified God, speaking in other tongues. As I witnessed how the Spirit changed lives, my soul cried a silent question, “What prevents the ‘flow’ of the Spirit in me?” The answer came gently. “A guise of spirituality and a mere profession of salvation are empty vanities without the ‘flow’ of the Spirit.”
“I will name in everyday language the most common hindrances for you:- -UNBELIEF - FEAR -DISOBEDIENCE - REBELLION -JEALOUSY - BITTERNESS -HATRED - MALICE -STUBBORNNESS -LUST - COVETEOUSNESS -GREED - SELFISHNESS -ANXIETY - WORRY -JUDGING - CRITICISM -GRUMBLING - COMPLAINING -PRIDE – AMBITION – -THE DESIRE TO HAVE A NAME OF SPIRITUALITY -TEMPER - IMPATIENCE
These are the evils that block the moving of the Spirit through you. When the flow stops, you usually fall back on your own resources and ‘make-do’ instead of cleaning out the obstructions. Child, you must learn to repent often. Confess and overcome your besetting faults. Ask forgiveness frequently of others. Only the cleansing blood of Jesus can remove the barriers of your soul.
Whatever it takes, keep the Spirit flowing. Don’t let obstacles pile up. A tiny seed of resentment can become a mighty force of evil if allowed to remain and grow. Understand that the Holy Spirit’s healing flood will sweep away your insecurity, feeling of inadequacy, helplessness, fear of people, anxiety over change, uncertainty and any other unwholesome thought that springs up to make you unfruitful.
When the Spirit whispers the word ‘flow’, that’s a signal that you must share what I have shown you. Wherever you go, encourage God’s people to get the ‘flow’. The value of receiving the Holy Ghost can be lost unless it is allowed to ‘flow’. Get the FLOW! Get the FLOW!”
With the last vibrant “Get the FLOW!” my guest left. The light faded, though a translucent glow lingered for some time. I lay motionless until dawn, humbly thanking God for His incomparable mercy. My heart cry that night long ago is still with me. “I want the Flow!”
The following is a photo of her actual handwriting!