I love the start of a new year. It’s sad in a way to see the last year go (and go by so fast) –but usually, by November/December – I am looking forward to the new year – to a new chapter – a turning of the page – a new leaf and season.
Of course – today didn’t turn out as I had thought it would.
I had plans to sit down and play with my kids, pray over them, strategize with my hubby (and on my own) and just start the year off right – on the right foot – with a clear head – knowing where I was going and what I was going to do this year. Instead – I spent the day lying around reading a book – not feeling well. My intestines were rumbling and were bloated most of the day (I had been sick with a 24 hour stomach bug a couple days ago – but was feeling much better yesterday). At one point this evening I even complained that I looked pregnant because I was so bloated. My Sweet 6 year old daughter said – “Mom – your belly doesn’t look pregnant.” Oh – thank you sweetie. “It looks . . .” I thought she was going to say “normal” or “skinny” . . . but instead she continued “. . . it looks like a snowman’s belly!” :) Lovely. Thanks sweetie. :) At least I do like snowmen!
So – as I didn’t have a ton of energy, and my belly was keeping me from feeling like running around, I decided to do as my heavenly Daddy has been urging me to do lately . . . rest. I pulled out a book I had wanted to read for probably almost a year, and just read it all day long (with a few breaks to watch a movie with my kids and chat with them and love on them).
Roland and Heidi Baker’s book – “Always Enough” had intrigued me a while ago – and I had heard great things about the book. Well – as I told my 15 year old son tonight (as he moaned about feeling like he was “poor”, about his “horrible” life of no video/computer games (he's been grounded), etc) – after reading this book – you will never think you are poor or that you have a miserable life! Wow – what some of these kids/orphans have gone through – what the people of Mozambique have gone through – what the Bakers have gone through. Yet – the continuing theme of the book is – that there is ALWAYS ENOUGH with God. Yes there is.
He is trying to teach me that. He is also trying to teach me more about LOVE – about pressing into it – about living from it – about being a conduit of His love and more. Anytime I ask Him what I should be doing – he says to focus on “love”. I asked Him the other day about my husband – what he should be focusing on (he had asked me to ask God for him) . . . and I got the same answer – “love”. Hmmm . . I’m sensing a theme here. :)
Well – I wanted to tell you about a part of the book that struck me tonight. It’s a part that just completely describes where I am at right now – what God is trying to teach this stubborn girl. :)
In Chapter 7 Heidi is saying how people ask them how they can keep on doing the tiring work that they do – working with the poor, needy, sick, etc. She says “But we have nothing to gain by slowing down and trying to hold onto our lives. We give ourselves as a fragrant offering of love to Jesus, and in return He gives us His supernatural life.” She goes on to quote Romans 8:35-39. But what she says next is where I am:
“We have His love. We have Him! This is no time to be conservative. This is no time to let our hearts be captured by this world. We cannot improve on His will or His life. Let’s concentrate on what captures God’s attention and spend ourselves as He spends Himself. He knows what is worthwhile to do, so let’s learn from Him and not waste our lives. We will never run dry. We always have His resources, because He died for us. Let’s run the race to win and never stop bearing fruit.”
Wow! That is where I am definitely at right now - what God has been teaching me and saying to me! I've been struggling with what I'm supposed to "do" - but He just keeps telling me to "be" with Him - to rest in His love - to spend time with Him - to deepen my intimacy with Him. I've still struggled with just how all that works - if I spend so much time with Him in His presence - how do I get all the "other stuff" done? "He knows what is worthwhile to do . . ." Wow. . . . . He's also been talking to me about His resources - about there always being MORE than enough for what we need. I'm trying to let go. I'm trying to let go of it being dependent on ME. I'm very capable. God knows that. It's been tough for me to let go in many areas - but I'm getting there. :) . . . . I'll get there. :)
Back to Heidi . . . Two chapters later (Chapter 9), she talks about how “All fruitfulness flows from intimacy”. Wow. This is what God has been trying to teach me. I’m slowly getting it. The vision about resting against his heart (and letting His melody of Love fill me up) helped some the other day. This book has helped some too. I’m getting it – slowly – a little more each day.
In this chapter she says (bold and underlining is mine):
“Let Him love you. It’s so much simpler than we thought. It’s time to be transformed by His love so that there is no fear in you. Be wrecked for everything but His presence. Be so utterly abandoned in His love.
. . .
It’s time to lie down and let God be God. He is mighty, and nothing is impossible with Him. He wants to kiss His Church and transform you with His love.
We are called to be carriers of His glory. It’s not about standing up and being an eloquent speaker. It’s about being so close to the heart of God that you know what He’s thinking. Then you’re not afraid to go anywhere and say anything. The Lord Himself will do anything for radical lovers. He captivates us so that we can never go back. He wants to shatter your box. Often your God is still too small. . . .
Lie down so that He can trust you with everyone. Then when you get up there is revival – when whole nations come to Him, falling on their faces. He changes us with one glance of His eyes, so that we are not afraid to be completely abandoned in His arms. Many want lots of power and anointing, but when you just like down and let Him kill you, it’s a good thing. He wants to love you to death.
We are finally realizing that we have failed and that we cannot bring about the kind of revival this world needs. In the secret place of Your heart, Jesus, we will rest. We will lie down. We will listen, until You tell us to stand up. When you tell us to stand up, we know that nations will come to You.
He’s looking for union, not occasional worship, so that our natures are transformed. We must walk in His nature, and we must die daily.
Some people say, “Just get a grip. We’ve already done that.” But it’s a daily thing, a continual laying down. All fruitfulness flows from intimacy. There’s no other place to get it. To the degree that we are united with the heart of Jesus, God will bring fruit in our lives. To the degree that you are in love with Him, you will be fruitful.
I (Heidi) don’t know anything else. I’m so desperate to stay in this place of abandonment. From this place nothing is impossible. I only have on message – passion and compassion. We’re passionate lovers of God, so that we become absolutely nothing. His love fills us. When it’s time to stand up, God stands up with us. We focus on His face, never on our ministry, anointing or numbers.
All I want to do is love God and care for His people. I find them in the garbage, under trees, dying of AIDS. I’m just really simple. Jesus said, “Just look into My eyes," and every thing completely changed. His eyes are filled with love and passion and compassion. Jesus always stops for the dying man, the dying woman and the dying child. That’s all I know, passion and compassion. He calls me to love every single person I see every single day.
There are so many tired Christians and burned-out ministers. Go, go, work, work, rah, rah. Why? We don’t bear much fruit running around like that. But when you’re filled with His passion, fruit happens.
Just focus on His face. You will only make it to the end if you can focus on His face. Focus on His beautiful face. You can’t feed the poor, you can’t go to the street, you can’t see anything happen unless you see His face. One glance of His eyes, and we have all it takes to lie down. We’re not afraid to die.
We give our offerings, but our offering is going to have to be us. We have to say, “Go ahead. Take me. Take everything.” The deal is, you have to see His face. You have to be completely wrecked by His love so that you will hilariously give your life away. You start to love the people you didn’t think you could ever love, even the mean ones. But you have to see His face.
. . .
We need to be in that place. We’re prisoners of love. Some people say, “Oh, how noble. You’re a missionary.” I’m just a prisoner of love. I don’t have any choice. It is joy unspeakable and full of glory. The whole thing. Every part of it. . . . . One glance at His eyes and you’re wrecked forever.
His call is for all of our lives. He calls each of us to be an extravagant, hilarious love offering to Jesus. That’s the place where I believe the glory comes. This glory of His presence that we are so desperate for, that we so need, that we’re so crying out for, that we’re so longing for, that we sing about, comes as we hilariously, totally and completely give away our entire being before Him. We are the sacrifices He ignites with His love, and His presence just falls. He just comes. He is looking for people who will carry His glory. He really, really is.
But you have to be dead in order to carry it. And when you carry the glory, you will carry it out to the poor, the broken, the dying and the lost. You will. That’s the call. That’s the heartbeat of Jesus, that we carry Him out to the broken. But you can’t carry Him until you’ve seen His face. You have to know that holy place.
. . .
God wants to do signs and wonders like we’ve never seen, but we have to see His face. We have to see what He sees and feel what He feels. Otherwise, It’s dangerous and frightening. He can only release His power and anointing to those who will lie down, who will say “Only You” and stay that way every single day.
The only reason I even think of getting on more airplanes is that God spoke to me and said, “Tell the Church it’s time to wake up!” So wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up Church!
This new army doesn’t get tired. You know why? They know how to lie down in His presence. They know how to rest in His arms. They know how to lay their heads on His chest and listen to His huge heart. They weep with Him over the dying, the crying, the broken, the abused and the lost. Do you really think you can work hard and start a revival? Just run out there and get them? You can’t. But when Jesus shows His face and He breathes life into the dry, dry, bony Church, and that Church stands up full of His presence, carrying His glory, nobody can resist anymore!
. . .
(from a vision – about chariots of fire going across the whole world) The Lord said that His glory will cover the earth like the waters cover the sea, and that this revival that began in the late 1990’s will be known not for manifestations, but for intimacy unto harvest.. . . ."
I wasn’t going to type out this much – but I couldn’t help it (I didn't know where to stop!). :) It is sooooo much of what God has been speaking to me – teaching me lately - and over the last couple of years. I just couldn't have said it better!
But - after reading it - I would have to say I am not totally where Heidi is. That’s ok. I’m not Heidi.
I’m Lori – Victorious one – a Warrior Princess of LOVE – carrier and conduit of God’s love . . . and so much more. My life, my mission – is LOVE – in all that entails. LOVE – it’s all about love! That is my message. That is my “main thing” (as in “Keep the main thing – the main thing”).
It is what has transformed me. It is what will transform you – and everyone on this planet. God loves everyone. There is not one single person, alive or dead, that God did or does not love.
We are called to do the same. Can I do it? I am willing to try. I hope so. I know that I cannot on my own – but only through God’s love. It is through Him that I can love. It is really His love that is just flowing through me. That is how I can love. That is how I will love. That is how I will live my life - through His love.
So – my New Year’s resolution for this year is to live my life by this mantra – LOVE – LAUGH – LIVE (instead of Live-Laugh-Love because LOVE should come 1st! It's out of that Love that I can laugh, live and bring life to others!). I want to be a “hilarious love offering to God” as Heidi put it. Lori the lover . . .the Victorious Warrior Lover! :) That’s me!
Who are you? You are definitely not me - or Heidi. so - who are you? What will God have you do through/with His love?
What was your New Year's resolution this year?
Resolve to do DEEPer in God's love this year!
You won't regret it!