Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Being Stripped Away

I know I have been missing in action and realize I haven't blogged since last June, when Tom was in the middle of his cancer treatment (he is currently cancer free by the way and his last two scans were normal, praise God!) 

This is the first time I've even looked at my website since then. Part of the reason I think is because I've been going through a stripping down process. In fact, one day in prayer I saw an image of a piece of bacon being stripped of all fat and knew the Lord was filling me in on what was taking place in my own soul. 

I think many right now can relate to this stripping down process as we are all under quarantine orders and many of the things we used to enjoy doing has been stripped away.

Before the coronavirus showed up, the Lord had been speaking to me for about a year about being a stabilizing influencer. He impressed on me, the meaning of this was someone who can remain at peace even in the midst of the storms of life and how attractive that is to the world around us that desperately needs his peace.

I think the stripping down process happening in me was to help me to become that stabilizing influencer to those around me.

Sometimes in prayer, I get a sense of what is coming down the road. I did not see this one coming however, at least so I thought. I recently decided to go back and read my journal entries from last year. This is what I found:

A year ago, I heard in prayer, "Do not be afraid of what is coming. It is necessary for the salvation of souls."

Now, just to clarify, I do not believe the coronavirus is a punishment from God. In fact, I believe it may have been a scheme of the enemy. If so, the enemy overplayed his hand. I believe God is going to use this for good. I believe we are about to see a great harvest of souls coming to the Lord and right now is a time for the Church to get ready as we deepen our identity and spiritual roots.

Another thing I found in my journal was from March 25, 2019. I wrote down and interpreted a dream I had. In the dream, I was at Wall-Mart. Most of the shelves were cleared out as they were getting ready to renovate. Even though most of the food shelves were bare, there were still a lot of toys. Most of them were on clearance so I bought a space toy for my son for only $25.

The interpretation that came to me at that time was:

The walls are coming down. The Church is being renovated and will not look the same when it is done. It is going to require childlike faith to access the spiritual food. The sky is the limit and there will be grace upon grace available (the number 25 symbolizes grace upon grace in scripture).

One thing I have come to a better understanding of through all this is how God is much bigger than we realize and is able to do far greater things than we can imagine. My faith has been stretched and increased during this time. I have come to realize that his presence is not limited to where the people of God are gathered. His grace is abundant and able to reach across the internet and into or own living rooms. The Holy Spirit transcends time and space when we are engaging in praise and worship even over the internet. Spiritual communion is also a very real thing. God does not hold back his grace just because we cannot receive him physically or be in an assembly where the people of God, through faith, usher in his presence. 

The last few years, there has been an awakening going on among our Protestant brothers and sisters as they have been discovering the grace available in communion, especially when viewed in reverence as being the body and blood of our Lord. I've asked the Lord, "How can this be?" I think I have a better understanding of that now.

Hopefully, even after quarantine, life will not go back to normal where we might have had God in a box with limited understanding of the vastness of His mercy and grace available for all those who have an open heart. May the stripping down process produce a greater glory in us that can be displayed to the world.