It was a whirlwind summer with two writers conferences, PNWA in Seattle, and OCW in Portland, and a Bible conference, The Season of the Open Door in Spokane.
My manuscript, Watch God Work [Published as Loved So Much, It Hurts], was well received at both conferences, and I have five agents and an editor waiting for more. One of the agents and the editor want to see my mystery as well. It’s all very exciting until I get home and realize how much work I have to do. I have 30,000 words to cut from Watch God Work, before I send it in.
God’s hand was so evident at each function, from the responses to my manuscript, to the friends I made, to the messages from keynote speakers and workshop leaders, it actually took me by surprise.
There’s a shifting taking place, a move of the Spirit in the world. I can feel it, though I may not express it very well. I only know that, like myself, God’s people are being prepared for something big. I’d like to think it’s the return of Christ, but I know there’s much that must happen before that day. Make us ready, oh, Lord.
I was so looking forward to my last conference, The Season of the Open Door, hosted by Dr. Bruce Allen and his lovely wife Reshma, from Still Waters International Ministries. Having read Bruce’s books, The Promise of the Third Day, The Prophetic Promise of the Seventh Day, and Gazing into Gory, and learned of the Heavenly encounters in his meetings, I went expecting great things.
I definitely went searching for answers. In June the Lord called me to a season of prayer, but I didn’t know exactly what that meant. I know He told me I was no longer to attend to the traditions of man, but to learn at His feet. That was fine with me—not that other people understood, but it’s better to please God than man. But, what about fasting? And teaching the adult Sunday school, and ministering at our local shelter?
While Bruce saw angels at work in our meetings, mainly the angel of revelation, I didn’t see them. But I received very definite answers and direction. The first night I was there, I received a prayer request from someone on the other side of the world reading this blog. This doesn’t happen every day, so I know it was God’s confirmation to continue in this ministry.
The second night, I received an email from an editor wanting to use two of the stories I gave him at the OCW conference in Live Magazine. I knew without a doubt God wants me to continue to write. These are both things God has specifically told me to do.
So, what about the rest? I was shown through a word of knowledge that, just because I am moved by a sense of duty or compassion to do something, it doesn’t mean that God wants me to do it.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”—Jeremiah 19:7
The enemy knows how easily I can be distracted by doing “God’s work.” But the truth is, unless God has told me to do something, it is not God’s work—it’s my work.
Jesus Himself said,
“By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”—John 5:30
If my Lord did only what He saw His Father do and said only what His Father spoke, what makes me think I have the authority to speak and act on my own judgment?
No wonder I’m paddling furiously and getting nowhere fast! How much time we waste playing “Christian.” How impotent we make the church. How pleased the enemy must be with us.
“The Lord says: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.'”—Isaiah 29:13
But the cure is so simple.
“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”—James 4:8
God didn’t create me for what I could do for Him. Like His own Son, I can do nothing apart from Him. He created me for relationship. That’s all that matters—knowing Him, spending time with Him, loving Him. Jesus said,
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”—Matthew 6:33
The word “kingdom” here (basileia) refers not to a place, but royal power or dominion. If you’re striving to get to Heaven, you’ve missed the point of salvation and need to go back to John 3:16.
His righteousness (dikaiosune) speaks of integrity, virtue, and purity of life. In other words, the condition acceptable to God. Notice it doesn’t say your righteousness, but His. Not only did Jesus attain His dominion through His righteousness, He attained it for us as well.
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”—1 John 4:17
God’s dominion and righteousness can be found only in one place. His heart. They are not what He did, but who He is. When my heart is set on His heart, “all these things” will be of no consequence.
So I am seeking. Waiting on Him, learning how to pray and, more importantly, how to listen. I’m pressing in to the heart of God. As I do, He is revealing the secrets of His kingdom, preparing me for what is to come.
I invite you to join me.
God’s grace and peace be yours,