I have a confession to make:
(For those of you who are new, be sure to read the two prophetic words I just linked to above, as well as Part 2 of the prophetic word for 2019.)
This test is about our health; and I've been doing good in some ways, but doing bad in others.
I've been doing better with my eating. I've been cooking quite a bit, and cooking healthy food, too. That has really helped. But, I've been doing badly with drinking water. I'm way dehydrated, which is bad.
I've been doing pretty good with using my planner too–for meal plans, to-do lists, and more. It has SAVED MY HIDE more times than I can count. I know that Papa is proud of me for that (and proud of you too, if you're bringing order from chaos using your planner too), and I am thankful for His work in my life in that area.
But the things I've been doing HORRIBLY with are REST and exercise.
When I say “horribly,” I mean HORRIBLY. And rest and exercise are related to each other.
Here's what that has looked like for me:
I've been working on various aspects of this ministry, and there are so many things to do–important things, things I'm behind on–that they always seem more important than STOPPING.
Often, I've actually heard the Lord tell me to STOP, PAUSE, REST, REGROUP, and I've talked myself out of it. I've convinced myself that that wasn't the Lord after all, or that He won't mind if I do “just one more thing.” And the result of that has not been good.
My failure to rest, pause, stop, and regroup means that I keep paying attention to things that feel pressing–which my health never does. It means helping someone else feels pressing, so I do that, but I haven't been obeying God by going to the gym and walking on the treadmill.
This test isn't about how much we can help people; it's about our health. But my failure to obey God by stopping, pausing, regrouping, etc has kept me from taking care of the other aspects of my health that are more important than the latest pressing task.
I'm just being real with you all today. Is this okay?
I know in my head that rest is from the Lord; that we have to rest.
I also know that I should be obeying the voice of the Lord when He tells me to stop for a minute. And every time I have practiced God's principle of resting, He has supernaturally anointed me and made up the time, such that I am not any worse for having taken that time to rest. In fact, He has always made up the time, such that I have come out better.
But I haven't been listening to Him very well on this matter recently. And that's my sin; just being honest.
The Lord told me today that this matter of passing the test isn't a matter of pass/fail.
Instead, it's a matter of “stay in class until you pass it.”
Sigh. Almost like those Israelites wandering around the wilderness for 40 years, right, Lord?
So I am just being open with you. I cried out to Papa this morning, telling Him, “Father, I need help passing this test!” Because it feels like a hamster-wheel I can't get off of. I feel like I'm caught in a cycle of busyness; of always trying to get ahead; and instead I'm only getting farther and farther behind.
Can you identify?
I don't know about you, but I don't want to stay on this gerbil-wheel forever. I want to change.
But I need Father's help.
If you can identify, would you just bow your head and pray together with me right now?
Let's pause and regroup with Father together. Here goes:
“Father God, I come to You in Jesus' name. Father, thank You that I can come boldly before Your throne of grace, that I may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Lord, I'm coming to You boldly right now, and I need grace and help–lots of it. So thank You in advance for giving it to me.
Papa God, here's what I need:
Father, I need help passing this test.
You asked me to take Your final exam regarding my health, getting my health under control once and for all. I've been trying, Lord. But sometimes I've been trying hard, and other times I have been occupied by other things–things I know You told me to put down for a minute, and listen to You. But I haven't put them down, and I haven't listened to You like You asked me to do.
Father God, I'm sorry. I confess my sin to You. I confess that I have rebelled; that I have gone my own way; that I have preferred and honored my thoughts above Your thoughts.
Father, please forgive me. Cover me with the blood of Jesus. Wash me and cleanse me. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit.
Father, I need help with my self-control.
Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, Lord, but I know Holy Spirit can't bear that fruit in me when I am not listening to You; when I am plowing ahead, going in my own way. I know You've already forgiven me, Lord, and thank You for that.
Please help me now, Lord:
- Please help me to recognize Your voice more clearly than I ever have before.
- Make me hyper-sensitive to the fact that I must STOP WHAT I'M DOING AND OBEY YOU NOW, every time I hear Your voice.
- Help me to get organized again, and stay that way.
- Fill me up with Your motivation, inspiration, and awakening force. Charge me up with Your dunamis power by Your Spirit.
Thank You, Father God. I give You all the glory and all the praise. In Jesus' name, amen.”
And as I was praying through, writing out this prayer, I heard the Lord say:
“You are going to have to do things differently. Did you think you'd get total transformation without total transformation?”
Um. Yes, I guess I did. (Did you? If so, word for you too.)
Next, I heard Him say:
“You're going to need to get ahead on some things in order to carve out the time-space you need to pass this test. It's called MARGIN, and you don't have any. You're going to have to create some, starting this week.”
Okay, Lord. I hear you.
I don't know about you, but I am serious about wanting to pass this test.
I need the Lord's grace and help in order to do it. Total transformation doesn't happen without Jesus. But Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life, and He is breathing life into the dead areas of our lives right now.
Will you stop with me, take a deep breath, pause, regroup, and let Him show you what you need to do to pass this test too? If you will, I believe He will speak to you.
Can you identify with what I shared today? If so, please leave a comment below. I'd love to hear what Father is saying to you about this.