Come Holy Spirit!

holy-spirit-power
Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics. Esther 2:12 NIV

This particular scripture has come to mind often during this fast time. Not until today, did I realize the significance of it.
We are at the start of 12 months in 2016. Oil of myrrh, among other things is used for purification and that is basically what fasting is about!
So what is the Holy Spirit saying? What plans or dreams do you have for this year?
I know I have quite a few and I use this fasting time annually to help me prepare or develop my plan for the goals I have. Many churches have a fasting time or Corporate Fast at this time, so many of you may be in some form of fasting or cleansing also. It is a time to listen to the voice inside as we set aside our pleasurable foods and treats or television, etc., so we can hear her.
Yes, I said her. It is Woman Crush Wednesday after all!
Now, don’t go calling me a heretic yet! Take a little word study with me 1st.

Pneumatology is a theological term, which is the doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit.
The Hebrew word רוח (ruach; “wind; spirit”) is one of the few words that is sometimes used as masculine, although it is mostly used as feminine.

In Aramaic also, the language generally considered to have been spoken by Jesus, the word is feminine. However, in Greek the word (pneuma) is neuter. There are biblical translations where the pronoun used for the Holy Spirit is masculine, in contradiction to the gender of the noun used for spirit in Hebrew and Aramaic.

Why did the Church Fathers decide to override and refer to the Holy Spirit as male? That is for another discussion.

I only provide this as a foundation for my particular view. So relax and keep reading! I am referring to the Holy Spirit as she because of her actions in us. The Holy Spirit comes alongside, comforts us. The knowledge brought forth by the Holy Spirit is intuitive and in that respect feminine. So I am not saying the Holy Spirit is gender female specifically, but that the energy or vibe, if I may, is female.

I believe, very strongly in my heart that The Lord wants women to honor and value their femininity. It is clear there is much confusion in this area in our society and amongst ourselves. Even the metaphysicians speak of this time as the age of the feminine. I digress.
Moreover, I believe this is in part, why I have been given this “ministry” of Beauty to share.

As to the scripture above, we are at the crown of the year. How will you use the information that you have received during this time?
Is this a time to review and continue what you started last year, culminating in the manifestation of that thing?

Or is it a time to let go of all the stuff you came up with on your own and truly hear what The Lord would have you do?

This purification time is to set you up for success in the entirety of the year!
What you will get out of this time of purification, however you designate to do it, is power for living out your dreams in 2016!

I realize I have kind of put myself out here but Thank God, I’m just a messenger.

Interesting Reading/Reference
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_of_the_Holy_Spirit
http://www.hezekiyahhaas.com/uploads/3/0/0/1/3001861/who_is_the_holy_spirit.pdf

To know Him is to love Him

Trust-in-the-Lord

Trust. It is a word that carries a lot of weight. When someone says “Trust me”, it is not always easy to acquiesce. Especially if we do not know them well.
Walking as the Bride in the Kingdom of God depends on trust. Yet how can we trust The Lord if we do not know Him?
This “Walking”, describes a concept that I came across. It was revealed to me, through scripture, inspired teachers, but most exclusively from inspiration found in my study of the Book of Esther. My posts in 2014 will catch you up. It describes a set of actions or beauty treatments that will help you develop an intimate relationship with The Lord. If you know Him better, you will trust Him. More.

Many of us say we trust The Lord. However, if someone was to look closely at our lives, the trust is not clearly evident.
We doubt. We question. We change our plans, all because we are only giving lip service to entrusting our lives to Him. I’m not preaching outside the lines here, I have my struggles. Nonetheless, the idea of “Walking as the Bride” is to help us know Him. It has improved my life so much and yet I have hopped off the Potter’s wheel from time to time (control issues, let’s be real). I return to my old ways of thinking; anxiety, self-doubt, etc.

The Holy Spirit is present to remind us, if we are listening. The still small voice asks, “Do you trust The Lord”? I will say, “of course I do”! The response will be, “So why are you in bed eating a quart of ice cream at 2 am”? No, I do not hear voices! I pray you get what I mean.

We all have our ways of dealing with stress or worry. I tend to eat. Too much! Since implementing these tenets, much of what I used to do , I do not do and there have been positive changes in many other areas of my life. Still, it is the “walking” that makes this work. It is active. It is a life practice. It is about a love relationship. Not to sound corny or to question your intelligence but God is a person. Not like you or I, certainly. I am just saying there is a Person to know. I will stop here.

Lol! I am chuckling because I imagine there are some reading this who are humming the theme to the “Twilight Zone”. That’s okay too. If this is meant for you, you will get it.

Trust and Rest when all around you
Puts your faith to stringent test;
Let no fear confound you,
Wait for God and trust and rest.

Trust and rest with heart abiding,
Like a birdling in its nest,
Underneath His feathers hiding,
Fold your wings and trust and rest.

Unknown.

“By Myself I can do nothing.”

The Walk of the Bride in the Kingdom of God is continuously unfolding. It is as if each step taken opens to more and more of Him; that is Christ in you, the Hope of Glory.
These tenets or beauty treatments were inspired from studying the Book of Esther in the Holy Bible. The tenets are:

Prayer, Praise, Purity, Practicing the Presence of God, Beauty of Holiness
Mind of Christ, Humility, Giving, Trust, Consistency

In earlier posts, the tenets were described individually, to be walked out in our daily lives. As I have often said, I am walking it out as I go, along with you, Precious Reader! I believe The Lord has inspired this “Walk” to help us to grow in intimacy with Him so that we might increase in every area of our lives! This is His desire for all of His children but I perceive this specific inspiration is particularly for His daughters. The tenet concepts are for all, but the “feel” is female.

What about Beauty inside Out?
This theme is perhaps the foundation of what we are experiencing in this walk. Beauty is in Christ. It is to be complete in Him. Beauty inside; more of Him = Beauty inside and out!

“But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted”! John 15:7 NLT

“Fasting is the greatest remedy– the physician within” Philippus Paracelsus

Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. Daniel 9:3

Beauty Inside Out

Originally, my endeavors in fasting were out of the need to go before The Lord in prayer as I had been taught as a child, growing up in the Catholic faith. I came upon the “Beauty” benefits of fasting by accident. As I began to study on the Book of Esther, I felt compelled to fast and pray for understanding. Having studied various types of fasting methods, I knew that the traditional Water fast would not work for me initially. Like most people in western society, my diet was full of junk food, caffeine, and prepared foods, aka “T.V. dinners”. Juice Fasting was the best alternative to jumpstart the process and still have the benefits of detoxifying the body.
Fasting with natural fruit and vegetable juices provides vitamins and energy while your digestive enzymes work to rid the body of waste and congestion.
The Natural Health Techniques website is a useful resource.
http://naturalhealthtechniques.com/healingtechniquesjuice_fasting.htm

“Make up can only make you pretty on the outside, but it doesn’t help if you are ugly on the inside. Unless you eat the makeup”. Audrey Hepburn

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Walking as the Bride in the Kingdom of God

Beauty Inside Out

As the United States of America and expatriates everywhere prepare for the Thanksgiving Feast, it seems an opportune time to discuss a very important Beauty secret for the Walk of the Bride; fasting.
Fasting has many spiritual and physical benefits. When used in conjunction with prayer it is a powerful combination with equally powerful results. Our Heroine, Queen Esther and her maidens found the power of fasting to be useful. This is demonstrated by her decision to fast and pray before approaching King Xerxes without an invitation.

….. do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” EST: 4; 16 NIV

Why fast? Fasting redirects our attention. Fasting gives us the opportunity to put our flesh under subjection, to take our focus off of self-centered desires and pleasing our appetites. However this aspect of fasting is not what this post is about. According to the latest medical research:
Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough described as “remarkable”. Although fasting diets have been criticized by nutritionists for being unhealthy, new research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection.
Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy. It could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases. The researchers say fasting “flips a regenerative switch” which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system.
Knapton, S. (2014 June), Fasting for three days can regenerate entire immune system The Telegraph UK,
Retrieved from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10878625/Fasting-for-three-days-can-regenerate-entire-immune-system-study-finds.html

With the New Year on the horizon, a Better You is usually one of the many resolutions we aspire to achieve. In the coming weeks, Beauty inside out will be our focus.

We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made.

Righteousness is the truth revealed and working in you!

the-kingdom-come-sermon-slide
Walking as the Bride in the Kingdom of God

The tenets of this path were inspired by the Book of Esther.
The beauty treatments prepared for the maidens who were to go before the king consisted of 6 months of purification with oil of myrrh and 6 months of perfumes and cosmetics. As I continue to “walk as the Bride”, I am growing in understanding as I experience it. Prayer, Praise, Purity, Practicing the Presence of God and the Beauty of Holiness are metaphorically speaking, the ingredients that detoxify our hearts and minds, to increase our capacity to receive spiritually. As we activate the 1st 5 treatments, we are being cleansed of the dead weight that we have been carrying around most of our lives. Low self-esteem, guilt, insecurities, past hurts, shame, etc.; all these and more are drawn out and burned by the fire of the Holy Spirit as we pray, praise and practice His presence in order to heal and make us new in Him.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61

Let me be clear, this walk is about Christ Jesus! The above scriptures were spoken by our Lord when he introduced his ministry on earth (Luke 4). Christ is our Bridegroom. Our growing in intimacy with God through Christ brings the reality of “Christ in you” to bear in our lives!

The cleansing water of the Word of God and the precious Blood of Jesus entitles us to partake in that which has been obtained for us. It is our intimacy, our developing relationship with the One who loves us that enables us to acquire and establish the Kingdom of Heaven within. Not head knowledge only but a true experience that can be seen and demonstrated in our lives. Thus the purpose of becoming “oaks of righteousness”, whereby those in our circle of influence may come under our shade to grow in the things of God and to establish His Kingdom in their lives.

You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
LORD my God, I will praise you forever.
Psalm 30:11-12

Praise is what I do!

Walking as the Bride in the Kingdom of God

Praise
In an earlier post, I listed 10 tenets or beauty treatments inspired by the Book of Esther and I stated that the order did not matter. This is incorrect. After reviewing my personal experiences and the order in which I received these inspirations, the path is as follows:
Prayer
Praise
Purity
Practicing the Presence of God
Beauty of Holiness
Singleness of mind/Mind of Christ
Humility
Giving
Trust
Consistency
Why is the order important?
Sometime after I began this path, I had the opportunity to share these tenets with the congregation of my local church. I mentioned that the Beauty of Holiness (tenet 5) seemed to come of itself without any conscious effort or action on my part. Later, our Pastor, Ed Brinson shared that “Praise is comely to the upright”.   Psalm 33:1.

A Bible commentary from The Treasury of David on Psalm 33:1 states “For praise is comely for the upright.” God has an eye to things which are becoming. When saints wear their choral robes, they look fair in the Lord’s sight. A harp suits a blood-washed hand. No jewel more ornamental to a holy face than sacred praise.

The simple statement Pastor Ed brought forth gave clarity to what I perceived as “coming from nowhere”. In truth, Praise (tenet 2) is a link to what follows on this path to increase in every area of our lives.

Our praise and thankfulness to God is the beginning of Beauty, to be complete in Him. As we praise, we are set apart to Him, to worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness.

Always start out with a larger pot than what you think you need

What are the special ingredients or spiritual recipes used in the preparation of the Bride?
First and foremost, reading The Holy Bible. The Walk of the Bride in the Kingdom of God was developed from studying the Word, specifically the Book of Esther.

There are other tools and teachings that I have found to be helpful.
One of the tools I used to launch out into the deeper waters is, A Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster.

“A farmer is helpless to grow grain; all he can do is provide the right conditions for the growing of grain. He cultivates the ground, he plants the seed, he waters the plants, and then the natural forces of the earth take over and up comes the grain…This is the way it is with the Spiritual Disciplines – they are a way of sowing to the Spirit… By themselves the Spiritual Disciplines can do nothing; they can only get us to the place where something can be done.” Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth

How did I get started on this path? After accepting Christ as The Lord of my life in my late 20’s, I realized there had to be more to salvation than going to heaven after death. I had heard the Word preached regarding the abundant life through Christ but I did not have a practical experience. Although I continued to reverence God and believe on Christ, I remained on the fringes of the Christian faith. Honestly, I was more interested in the here and now than the “sweet by and by”. I am sure there are many people who can identify with this kind of thinking. The funny thing is that you will no longer be able to stray away as easily as before salvation. Once you say yes to The Lord, the connection is made. He will begin to woo you, gently, as a lover. God is Love and He is the Greatest Lover of all.

I FLED Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter. 5
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase, 10
And unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat—and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet—
‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.’

Excerpt from The Hound of Heaven by Frances Thompson

http://books.google.com/books/about/Celebration_of_Discipline.html?id=FR4z93ezwqwC

If your eye is single…

to-succeed-in-your-mission-you-must-have-single-minded-devotion-to-your-goal-17

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me (John 5:30).

This is ‘singleness of mind’. It is to ‘let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 2:5). As we commit to the path of the Bride, we will find that the attitude of our heart changes. Our heart’s desire for ‘me and mine’ now includes thee and thine. Having the mind of Christ is about growing in the love of God and compassion for others.

Our heroine, Queen Esther grew in the love of God after her preparation. Several years after her coronation, she was given an opportunity to demonstrate that love. When she was told that a plan was in place to kill her people, initially she was afraid to act. However, she overcame her fears, saying, “Go, and assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish” (Est 4:15).

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

A Straight Path Never Leads Anywhere Except To The Objective

The imagery of marriage is often used in the Holy Scriptures to describe our union with God. In the Book of Esther, the opening chapters describe the path that Esther walked and how she was chosen to be Queen, receiving the full benefits of the Kingdom. Spiritually, this is an experience that we can have, which will move us beyond the commonplace into the fullness of Christ.

John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete (John 3:27-29 NIV).

These ‘beauty treatments’ are what I call “Walking as the Bride in the Kingdom of God”.
Our 8th treatment is the Mind of Christ.
Have you ever noticed how people who spend a lot of time together begin to mirror each other? Recently, I had the pleasure of dining with a young married couple, who are very much in love. The husband often finished his wife’s sentences as if he was inside her head. His wife seemed to know her husband’s every desire, including ordering to exact specifications the way her husband’s steak should be cooked. They spend so much time together; it is as if they are becoming one person.
This phenomenon comes to be for us also, by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, preparing us for our Bridegroom, Christ Jesus.