I want to share so much of this crazy journey God has Lynn and I on. We both will be doing this in the days and weeks to come. And it will go onward, I dare say. So please come with us!
So, let me start at a beginning, a preparation that God sent to me for what was to come.
While I was in Hawaii, my husband and would go and watch the sunrise on the beach each morning, then I would sit on our patio and read my Bible and praise God until my hubby came back out to share breakfast with me.
On my first morning, this little bird came up to me (right at my feet!), made a kind of moan-humming noise, then clicking sounds, then he proceeded to tip forward and spread his tail feathers at me. I was delighted! I giggled! I thanked God for such a precious gift.
The next morning, this little guy came back and had breakfast with me, feasting on the crumbs I left on my plate. Then to my complete and total shock, he hopped onto my knee! And there he perched. I saw it as another precious delight from God.
Here I’d asked for one of those feathers Lynn had been talking about and God sent me the whole bird! (I still laugh on that one!) This showed me again that when we let go of what we think we need and/or want, and trust God with it, He gives us even more than we imagined or thought possible because we are no longer limiting His work in our lives and marriages.
What I didn’t fully understand at the time was that God intended to use this little bird, which turned out to be a Zebra Dove, to prepare my heart to receive even more. While Lynn and I were at the Open Heavens conference, Bill Johnson spoke of protecting the presence of the Holy Spirit and likened it to a dove sitting on our shoulder. He cautioned us to walk carefully in our faith and service to God lest the dove fly away.
I thought again of that Zebra Dove perched on my knee as stayed still and watched in wonder. I began to understand how I had limited the Holy Spirit in my life. How I had unknowingly shrugged His presence off years ago out of fear and pride and had not shown Him the respect He is was due.
I repented and confessed all this. I asked the Holy Spirit for forgiveness and asked Him to return to me. That I would do whatever He wanted to serve Him and others if He would just restore His presence over me (yes, Jesus’ Spirit still indwells me, but I had stopped His power from flowing through me).
I can only explain it as feeling like a floodgate burst open. His presence and power flooded over me! Chills ran down my body from head to foot, except I wasn’t cold and exhibited no bumps. And I remembered this—I remembered feeling His presence years ago as a fresh believer before I allowed my pride and fear to push Him away.
There’s still so much I’m learning about all this, but I do believe this is what the Bible speaks of when it says to “walk in the Spirit.” When we walk in the Spirit’s leading, we become very sensitive to the world around us. We begin to see it through the eyes of Christ and we come from a place of love. What breaks Jesus’ heart, breaks ours. Those He loves, we love too, which is everyone you see and meet! And we pray in strength and authority, instead of fear and doubt!
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self- discipline. — 2 Timothy 1:7
It is a strangely wonderful and beautifully overwhelming place that has radically changed how I live my faith. God healed me of some things deep in my heart and freed me during the Open Heavens conference. Just this week, I’ve called myself a Jesus-freak in reply to something my husband asked. His reaction? He just smiled. And another time when I was concerned over a personal issue and without a thought, I said to him, “If you believed in God, I’d ask you to pray for me.” My husband’s response was to ask what was wrong.
These are things I NEVER would have said to my husband before, because I was too afraid of his reaction or too concerned of what he might think of me. That is God, my friends. That is what happens when we give Him free reign in us to do what He wants. The Holy Spirit moves big time when we let go and trust Him.
Praying & believing,