“For with You is the source of life, and in Your light we shall see light.
Extend Your kindness to those who know you
And your righteousness to the upright of heart.”
(Psalm 36: 10:11)
The Light is in us. When we are in prayer we are connecting to that Light in us. This is why prayer is so important. It is an intimacy like no other. When we think of intimacy, it is usually sexual union. Yet, the union between a man and a woman pales in comparison. However it is the marriage union that mirrors intimacy with God, as in a prayer filled life.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh”. Gen. 2:24
That word “cleave” is the Hebrew word dabaq, which means cling or adhere; figuratively, to catch by pursuit- to abide.
Prayer is how we can abide in The Lord; to dwell in God.
We abide in our homes. Our homes are protection from the elements, how we protect our possessions from thieves and how we provide a safe haven for our families. Prayer is like living in him every day!
With that in mind, how good is your housekeeping?
Are you taking the time to keep house? Or are you so busy that when you are home, it is only to sleep and eat? Many of us live to work and work to live, but never truly enjoy the benefits of all that working.
Sure we buy things, but so many times we are off to buy something else while our last purchase is still in the bag!
A life without prayer is like that. We are blessed beyond measure, though we seldom realize it. First of all we are alive! It’s only when the sh*&t hits the fan that we remember to call on the name of The Lord.
Lately, I have been focused on Beauty ‘outside’ , skin care, cosmetics, etc. It is all about healthy skin and toned bodies at this time of year. The summer season is underway! You can’t help but think about looking good at the beach, on picnics or just laying out at the pool!
However, I would be remiss to leave out the main ingredient, the One factor that makes Beauty possible- Christ in you!
I was in my prayer closet the other day and I got a little nudge in the spirit-“Isn’t your byline-Proclaiming Good News through Beauty”? So what about Beauty Inside?
So what about it?
Prayer is the key. We have so much on our minds these days, like what to wear, where to go this weekend, what to eat, what Not to eat, how many vacation days do I have left,…the list goes on.
Just under the surface we may begin to feel a little antsy or we are on edge and we can’t figure out why.
I am reminded of a lyric from “Forgot About Dre” by Dr. Dre-
Nowadays, everybody wanna talk like they got somethin to say.
But nothing comes out when they move their lips.
Just a bunch of gibberish.
*You look at their life and they forgot about J.
*my artistic license
Prayer is our opportunity to get the latest downloads on what is really happening in our lives and the world around us. That edgy feeling, feeling overwhelmed or confused, it could be the Holy Spirit telling you to stop by for a chat.
Peace is His specialty.
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.
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit?
Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
6 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2 NLT
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.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
Psalms 62:5-8 NIV
God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it.
Hebrews 4:1 NLV
Late that day he said to them, “Let’s go across to the other side.” They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down? Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?”
The Lord is an ever present help (Psalm 46). How we experience this is through Practicing His Presence. In this practice, we “taste and see that the LORD is good, for blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8). By this I mean we are meditating on or rather ‘chewing’ on the tastiness of God’s presence in our lives.
It is our experience as we walk this path with Him. As you ponder these things, going along as usual in your daily life, you will notice a marked increase in what you perceive as His ever presence. The Lord manifests His presence to us in many ways. As it is “Christ in you”, it is you, having the experience, thus perceiving in your own way.
However, it is during worship that the anointing; the presence of the power of God is perceived, giving our spirits a boost in this awareness.
Take a listen and see if you notice anything; perhaps a stirring in your spirit?
* I apologize for the additional step to YouTube but it is worth the trip.
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
Our 10th tenet is like sunshine and rain to a farmer. Trust is the key that unlocks the power within each beauty treatment. This is why “Walking as the Bride in the Kingdom of God” is an ongoing process; it is a way of being that develops as you go.
26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Mathew 6:26-33).
The above scriptures encourage us not to worry. Not worrying is easy if you truly trust The LORD. Birds do not worry. They understand that the same providence that fed them yesterday is the same today. Every one of us tends to have trouble with trust. How we were raised, the societies we live in, these have contributed to our lack of trust. We base our trust in God on what has happened to us- our father left us, our brother betrayed us, etc.
If I can make one promise about this path, it is this; It is safe to trust in Jesus. You must know Him, intimately.
You are the Beloved.