Yes. I’m reeling and giddy with thoughts. I don’t know what to say or how to say it. What I think that I might want to say really has no rhyme or rhythm to it and will most likely send my writer friends into a disoriented manic mode.Your pleas for more notes from school and an update on life have been heard, but I’ll be honest they left me with so much to say that I don’t know what to say at all.
This past week has been exceedingly, abundantly, more than I can ask think or imagine. Papa Bill preached on discipline and pruning, which I have been preparing to write about for WEEKS. Steve Backlund taught my track of church leaders on how to lead with correct mindsets. Kris spoke on our core values and how we see God, life, and ourselves (some notes/quotes below). Then on top of the impactful teaching, were encounters with God and people that leave me breathless at the goodness of our Father. I just love the work of His hands!
My Spirit is jumping and leaping with promise, my mind is trying to catch up, my heart is full, and I’m lovesick with emotion. Jesus Jesus Jesus. He is good. I’m intrigued by the reality that I will spend the rest of my life hungering to have more of the God that already lives in His fullness inside of me. The paradoxes of the Kingdom actually produce deep longing within me. I am fully satisfied in Him and yet I’m ravenously hungry for more. One day a few months ago the Lord spoke to me, “Jessika, what if there’s more?”
I am not ignorant enough to take His questions lightly, nor am I dumb enough, (anymore might I add) to think that I know the answer when He asks. At the time, I remember thinking, "then for the love of all things Holy SHOW ME!" That question set me on a path of discovery. In a step by step process I began to identify, through Holy Spirit, various lies that I believe. With each encounter with Truth I got a little more healing, a little more freedom, a little more vision, a little more excitement, a little more hope, a little more passion… you get the point. This led me to an incredible reality, you ready for the bomb dropper………………… I don’t know much. I’m 27, I’ve been doing this Christian thing for a little over 11 years (I know I’m a baby compared to most of you). I’ve seen more than I ever knew existed, I’ve done more than I ever thought I could do, I’ve received more than I knew could be given, I’ve sacrificed more than I thought I had, I’ve watched the hardest of sinners, the murderers and the rapists, melt in tears at the reality of the gospel, I’ve seen people get out of wheel chairs, blind eyes open, and all sorts of crazy miracles except the dead being raised (I’m still expectant for that one). I’ve seen things I can’t even explain.
And yet I think, I thought, I knew, I know there is more. When God began asking me that question, which He’s repeated several times now, I realized my thinking and knowing of "more" was far underestimated. There’s so much more than what we’ve seen, there’s so much more of Him than we know, there’s so much more that He wants to do in your life, in my life, in our world, and it’s beyond our capacity to know or explain.
My last blog was a little vulnerable for me. I opened up slightly about a battle I’ve had for almost nine months, well if I were going to be honest with you, the battle began quietly under the surface some time before that, I just didn’t know it. I was completely unaware of what was going on in me and around me. That battle has been the hardest and greatest thing of my life. In that blog I mentioned how God is speaking to me about redemption. Have you ever run into a brick wall that left you knocked out, unconscious, and unsure if you’d be able to get up? Even if by some miracle you were to get up, do you really feel like running the race anymore? How about a sweet little 5k walk that has no obstacles? How about when you finally get up and then you look backwards to find that perhaps you’d been tripping along the way and didn’t notice? Oh and there! Just on the side of the road is a big flashing warning sign that said, “WATCH OUT, BIG BRICK WALL”. As you’re struggling to stand, you know there are people all around holding your arms, giving you shots of cortisone, shoving protein drinks down your throat, and doing all they know to do to help you, but somehow you still feel all alone in the recovery. In fact, you feel so alone that some of the attempts to “help” really just hurt. They hurt almost as bad as the wall did. Then some of the attempts to help were just wrong, they unknowingly were giving you coke to drink when you needed water. Yeah, doesn’t that just sound sad? It is, it’s sad, it’s heart wrenching, it’s painful. It stinks for you and those around you who are affected. Most likely you didn't mean to run into the wall and no one meant to hurt you. BUT what if? What if God was determined to take the very issue the enemy used to derail you, to actually propel you into your destiny? This my friend is redemption. This my friend is the expectancy and hope we get to cling to during trials, struggles, persecution, and failure. My perspective has shifted and is shifting as of late. I look out at the world and I realize there is hurting, brokenness, conflict, disunity, anxiety, fear, and so much that is ravaging not just the lost world without Christ, but His very BRIDE! The very ones that should have the fullness of what He died for, the very ones that He’s called to wholeness, unity, and freedom. Oh my dear friends a revival of SOZO is coming. Complete physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. This spring I am going on a trip to the Philippines with Teresa Dedmond, Kevin Dedmond’s wife (the guy who wrote the treasure hunt book) and God is already speaking to me about the things that will occur and the redemption He has in store. We will be ministering in conferences, doing all sorts of evangelism, and working with victims rescued out of human trafficking. Also, I will be landing back in America on March 31st, 2015… Why is this date significant? It is exactly ONE YEAR from the date I landed coming home from DR-Congo. Following that trip I ran into the brick wall, but THIS YEAR God is redeeming and restoring the things that were lost! If you’d like to sow into that trip and what God is going to be doing on it, I’d love your support, and honestly I believe more than ever that you’ll be partnering with something MIRACULOUS!
FAILURE… That’s a word I HATE! Well, I did until recently. I’ll spare the background details of me and failure and just say, I am awkwardly comfortable with it now. This doesn’t mean I want to fail, it doesn’t even mean I “celebrate” it, in fact, I think I’m becoming way more aware of when my thought patterns are setting me up for impending doom. The truth is I’ve just accepted the fact that I will make mistakes and so will those who I love, but I have the ability to be loved, love myself, and love others regardless of our failures. SO DO YOU! I heard Papa Bill sort of preach on this recently and since then I had the PRIVILEGE and blessing of speaking to several pastors about this topic including Papa Bill himself. As I discussed my failure and my situation (I was still searching for answers in my heart), he drew me in close to his chest, he looked down at me and he said “Jessika, God doesn’t see this as a failure.” UMM EXCUSE ME? Did you listen to everything I just said, did you hear my mistakes? Did you miss the part where I hurt people and I am HURTING?!? Hello??? I think you’re not getting it, I failed and I don’t know how to process this failure. Then he spoke something (using scripture) that has changed me. “Jessika, you made mistakes, you opened the door for what came into your life, but that has never been the basis of failure for God, the basis of failure is your response to losing a battle. You are still seeking God for help, you are willing to clean up the mess, you are still hungry for more of Him. You haven’t failed sweetheart, you’ve won.” This was the point that I burst into uncontrollable tears while he held me, affirmed me, told me he was proud of me, and praised me as a daughter in the faith. I haven’t had the opportunity to tell him yet, but his response to my screw ups changed my life. They gave me hope and they made me believe in myself and Daddy God again. Do you realize that the anointing actually REVEALS wrong thought patterns and mindsets to try and help us avoid failure? The Bible says the anointing destroys the YOKE OF BONDAGE! and that the Truth sets us free. What does that mean? The anointing actually brings the Truth to identify the lies that are holding us in bondage! In the midst of great outpourings of the Spirit have come MESSY actions of sin. The greatest revivals all came with massive doses of repentance! Why? Well there’s two reasons; one because when God moves, the enemy is lurking to destroy it, but two when the Spirit is poured out our junk is brought right to the surface. He immediately begins showing us our distorted views and lies we believe. When we see them we have a few options as Christians and as leaders for how we choose to deal with this icky sin issue. As a Christian whose junk all the sudden starts flooding my thoughts and emotions I can either live into it, hide it, or CONFRONT IT! Now let’s be honest many times people will choose to live into it. They don’t recognize what is happening. They’re having all sorts of crazy emotions and thoughts that they aren’t identifying as the liar! They don’t realize that circumstances are revealing heart issues that Holy Spirit is allowing to come out so that they can be DEALT WITH! The Truth is that you’ve got some things that Papa wants to correct! What an honor, what a blessing, what a gift, the Bible says if you’re not disciplined you’re an illegitimate child. If you’re being disciplined you MUST BE FAMILY!
We don’t lose our identity in the process of transformation. We are transformed because of our identity. We will often act like we’re not daughters of the Most High. We will say things and do things that contradict the very Kingdom we say we believe, you are not less a daughter because of this. The goal is simply to be so enamored with Him and who we are in Him that it is rare that we behave contrary to that nature (see Kris V. book "Supernatural ways of royalty") As leaders we are often way more AFRAID of sin than we are informed on how to deal with it. The problem is often the thing we fear is what we encounter... and yea that's usually just what Jesus wants. He wants us to come face to face with our fear so that we can overcome it! Jesus isn’t afraid of sin, He conquered it! In fact He ran straight to it and said THE SICK NEED A PHYSICIAN! Then He handed that ministry of reconciliation to US and said now you go be a doctor. The problem is as leaders we sometimes don’t actually know how to deal with sin when we see it in our midst. Jesus’ response to sin among his disciples was grossly different to how the church (I say this loosely, not as a whole) often handles it today. He rebuked them openly, and then moved on. Whoa that’s a concept. Now, I’m not saying this is how all sin issues should be dealt with, but Jesus created an environment that we need to pay close attention to. He actually made room for his disciples to fail, then when they had wrong heart motives or even wrong actions, He CONFRONTED it. Jesus wasn’t afraid of their sin destroying His ministry, or theirs. OUCH. Perhaps that’s why James said confess it and be healed. In other words you’re SAFE to admit you’re not perfect here! I know that’s a hard pill to swallow. We live in a world that is so harsh and judgmental, we probably have no idea what it would be like to actually feel safe to fail. Jesus was really okay with them being imperfect and even in their imperfection giving them power and authority to go minister. Trust me, it’s as mind boggling to me as this is to you. But do you see that even in the midst of one of the worst acts of betrayal in Biblical history Jesus actually went to Peter and restored him? Just as Papa Bill took me under his arm and said sweetie, I’m proud of you, he restored me to my intended state. What if we all were able to look at our own failures and the failures of others this way? I’m learning to see myself in this light. I’m learning to see others this way. I think I’ll leave that point there and let you ponder that one in your heart for a while as I have been doing. Perhaps, just maybe, we’re a little too hard on our pastors, on our leaders, on our congregations, and maybe we have a lot to learn with how to handle failure? An article will soon be written on discipline vs. punishment where I’ll touch on this issue more in depth.
Kris spoke this week on our core values and how we view the world. He made this statement that i found very profound. “Do you know why Bill always has great revelation of the Bible? He has never read the Bible to validate what he believes, he always reads the Bible to tell him what to believe even if he doesn’t understand it.” Kris proposed the idea that most of us live in a world that is created by our own view of reality, rather than the Truth. We create patterns of thinking that distort actual reality. For instance, if you don’t feel well liked, when you say hi to someone and they don’t respond, your immediate thought is, they ignored me because they don’t like me. However, the reality was they legitimately didn’t hear you and they actually LOVE YOU! This is a super simple example of how we allow our view of ourselves, God, life in general affect how we interpret reality. If you have a belief that says God is good SOMETIMES, you will often view circumstances that are hard with a lens that says, God isn’t being good to me right now. If you believe you are unloved you will view life as a victim because you are unloveable. If we read the Word with preconceived notions of what life is like, what we are like, and what God is like then we create an entire theology and outlook on life based off of our own views. Essentially we create a god in our image rather than a God of His Word. So what lens do you view life through?
Well this is incredibly long, so I’ll just leave you with a few quotes from the week. -God’s plan for our lives is impossible… If we’re tuning into what God is saying, we would often be asking, how can it be? -God is an equal opportunity God. Your past cannot stop you but your current beliefs can. -The debating mind actually blocks the potential of having something conceived in your life. -Feelings are not a validation of Truth, the Word is. Speak the Word and you will begin to believe it. -We can’t be afraid to fight mental battles, in fact we should run towards them. Take thoughts captive, is us in pursuit of wrong thought patterns, not just waiting for them to come. -Every great work of God in us needs pruning. -Kingdom loyalty will never cause you to reject another person to prove it. You don’t become a member of this denomination and reject another to do it. That’s not Kingdom loyalty that’s carnal loyalty. -You’d be surprised how many people around you who don’t know the Lord would hunger to know Him, if you’d treat them like they already did. -His voice is a two edged sword that cuts and heals out the same time. -The nature of the OT is that people become affected by unrighteousness. In the OT if you touch a leper you become unclean, in the NT you touch a leper and they become clean. Sin is as devastating as it’s always been, but He’s not afraid of it and He doesn’t run from it. We minister out of a place of triumph towards the issues of life. -If you think you have to be qualified to operate in the anointing then it is no longer GIFTS of the Spirit it is rewards of the Spirit. It’s experiencing the anointing that enables us to live free.
-Sometimes you’re supposed to be quiet, but sometimes you better speak. Answer a fool in his folly unless he be wise in his own eyes. -Every revelation of your significance that doesn’t take you to servanthood will take you to entitlement. Entitlement will make you think that it’s others job to serve you rather than the Truth that you’re called to serve. If you don’t live for the praises of men, you won’t die by their criticisms. Favor is a wonderful thing but it’s not who you are. Applause, breakthrough, favor, is great but none of it is who you are. You’re identity should always be found in Who you are, a daughter called by the One.
As Always Be Blessed, J. Tate