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Soul-Talking

January 9, 2016

January 9, 2016

I first learned about soul-talking from King David. “Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me. Bless His holy name.” Said David to his soul. The very concept of soul-talking intrigued me. What part of David was speaking to his soul? What prompted his mouth to command his soul?

I believe it was David’s spirit talking to his soul. This is why I believe that:

God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you . . .” (Jer 1:5) Though I’ve read the Bible through many times, I remember vividly the night this scripture affected my heart in a life changing way. A man was guest speaking at our church. He had no idea who I was or how I was. But as he read this scripture, he seemed to look straight at me and through me. “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”

Suddenly, my heart ached so deeply and hungered so profusely for that relationship – that knowing. I began to pray, “Lord, I want to know the person you knew before you placed me in my mother’s womb! I want to know who I was; who you designed me to be. I want to know this person that you knew so I can start from there and be all you designed me to be before all the twisting and turning happened with my growing up years.” I could only weep. I could not speak the words that so ached in my heart for a response from God.

I left church that night feeling devastated. Alone. Empty but full of pain. I was a person of vision (meaning, I’ve had visions) but I saw nothing. I am a person who hears God, but I heard nothing. It was as though my spirit was shut down while my soul raged within me with words of hunger and thirst, with words of abandonment and shame.

Admittedly, I began a descent from that moment. Oh, I heard from God again – but not about that particular prayer. I saw visions again, but nothing specifically for me. It was much like my mother when she didn’t want to have those conversations about my childhood. God seemed to avert his eyes like you do when you see road kill. He seemed to silently wait for me to change the subject, so we could go about life again and pretend the ugliness didn’t happen. And like I’ve always done when life is painful, I allowed the pretense, but I grew quiet. I withdrew. If we can’t have an honest conversation, I don’t really want to have any conversation.

God allowed my descent. He permitted my silence and even my withdrawal to an extent.

Oh, he sent words on occasion. He gave me some revelations about things that helped others and excited me to know he still cared, but there was a scar on my heart and it would not allow the balm of God’s Spirit to penetrate for full healing.

Finally, I did what always brings me healing. I went to the word. His word. And one of the first things that I saw when I went there was soul-talking. The author of Psalm 42 questioned his soul. “Why so downcast, oh my soul? Why are you disquieted within me?” He demanded his downcast soul, “Put your hope in God.” And of course, David commanded, “Bless the Lord and forget none of his benefits.”

There is something to this soul-talking stuff. I am determined to diligently do it to bring my soul and body into subjection to my spirit – which I believe is the part of me that God knew before he formed me in my mother’s womb.

When I was born-again, my spirit became alive with the life of Christ. I have no doubt. It was like an earthquake within me when I first confessed Jesus (the) Christ as my Savior. I shook for days afterward. There was a definite dominion shift at the core of my being.

Since then, when God looks at me he sees my spirit, made in the image and likeness of his dear Son. My spirit was not born a baby, it was born fully mature and became alive as a mature being in the image and likeness of Christ. My spirit does not need to grow up, my soul does.

When I worship God in spirit and truth, he responds like he did to Jesus while he was on earth. When I pray in my spirit, He responds to my prayers just as he responded to Jesus’. No matter what I’ve done or what I’ve said, when my alive spirit connects with God’s Spirit, we are connected in a very intimate way.

God does not examine my flesh or my soul for flaw or err. He looks on and hears my spirit which (again) is created in the likeness of Jesus.

John the Revelator claimed in 1John 4:17, “As he is, so are you in this world.” As Jesus is, so am I in this world, not in the great by-and-by. He didn’t say, so you will be. He said, “so are you (now-present tense) in this world (where we live and breathe). How can this be? How can John say this to a church that doesn’t seem to look or sound anything like the fearless love Jesus portrayed?

John was speaking of our spirit. My spirit is the image and likeness of Jesus, so it is fearless love. The trouble happens when I can’t see or hear that image because my soul is so loud and glaring that it blocks the image of Christ within me. My wounded little soul is still reacting to damage inflicted on it as a seven-year-old child. I often can’t see past the shame and crippling fear of being a disappointment. The soul is where we feel shame and unworthiness. It is where fear resides. It is the part of us that takes work to renew to the image in our spirit. My soul needs to see and hear my born again spirit to bless the Lord and forget none of his benefits. One of those benefits is deliverance from shame. Another is that I am not a disappointment. I can’t help if people are disappointed, I don’t have the power to disappoint or to make people happy. That’s not my responsibility, so if they think I disappoint them, it’s because they have put their hope in the wrong thing. The seven-year-old child that was hurt didn’t know that, but the born-again spirit in me now knows it and delivers the message. Eventually, that little child will heal and grow into all the Father designed for it. But first, I must talk to it the healing words of grace and truth.

I am transformed by the renewing (redecorating, renovation) of my mind (Rom 12:1-2), to the point where I prove (I manifest to my physical senses) the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. By embracing God’s word, I’ll be able to see the perfection that is in my born-again spirit start flowing through my soul and body. Virtue will flow out of me like it did Jesus.

I don’t have to beg for God’s power somewhere out there to affect my circumstances, I just have to renew my mind to let my soul come into agreement with my born again spirit that it’s already been accomplished. The word was spoken. “By Jesus’ stripes I was healed.” My alive spirit is in agreement with that word that has spirit and life and my soul changes and comes into agreement as well.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul and all that is within me, bless his holy name and forget none of his benefits. In this I will have life and life more abundantly. In this, I will have citizenship in heaven. What is bound in heaven, I bind on earth, what is permitted in heaven, I permit (in my life) on this earth.

2016 will be the year I seriously begin soul-talking. How about you? Will I have other soul-talkers join me?

In Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we ask or think according to the power that works within us, Amen.

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Day 4: Igniting Faith in 40 Days with Steve and Wendy Backlund

January 9, 2014

Day 4

 

Praying In Faith

 

Faith is the result of what we know.

 

Wow.

 

Because of the time I spend reading and studying God’s word, I feel like I know Him enough to have faith in the promises I’ve clung to. The promise that “by Jesus’ stripes you are healed,” is easier for me to believe each year because I know Him better each year. I know He is willing, because Jesus spoke His willingness to the leper (Mk 1:41). Jesus is the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:3).

 

I know God is a good Father. He is so good that He sent Jesus, a willing and holy sacrifice, to pay the price for me to live in relationship with Him. He paid for me to live this life as though I have never sinned. I know sickness, disease, trouble and calamity all are the result of sin in the world. I can live separate from those because Jesus came and fulfilled His mission. I know He will never leave me nor abandon me because He says so. I know He is not a man that would lie, but the one true God who cannot lie. The one thing God cannot do? Lie.

 

I have faith in His constant and continuous love for me. Even when I screw up. Even when I don’t feel love for Him. Even when no one else feels love for me. Because of my faith in His love for me, I do not fear. I can live fearlessly because of a maturing in His love.

 

Faith is the result of what I know. I feel like I know God a little better today than I did yesterday. I feel like my faith is getting stronger. Thank You, Lord.

 

 

Declaration:

My trust and faith in God grows in proportion to how much I know His character, goodness, and trustworthiness. I therefore spend much time in His presence developing intimacy with Him. I never become satisfied with a mere theology  of God’s presence in my private or church life. I pursue His manifested presence. Amen.

 

Day 3: Igniting Faith in 40 Days by Steve and Wendy Backlund

January 8, 2014

Day 3

 

Bringing Life to Dead Places

 

Joel 3:10 – Let the weak say I am strong.

 

The word for today is one of instruction and repentance for me. I have dead places in my life. I have things that I prayed for – that I gave life to through my desires and prayers – and yet, I let them die by not persevering. I was weak, and that weakness led to death. Dreams died. Desires were left unfulfilled. I began speaking what I saw (lack, hurt, disappointment) and the faith I once possessed died with the dreams, desires and hopes.

 

“God has called us to make dead things alive.”

 

He has designed us to use His words and ours to bring life to dead things, circumstances and people. Interestingly, he said His words were spirit and they were life. We know the gospel brings new life to dead creatures. Why did I allow myself to become deceived into believing the lie that my words do not matter? How did I fall into the trap of disbelief?

 

It doesn’t matter how I did it, I guess, I did it. I repent for it. I ask for Your forgiveness, Father and I plea the blood of Jesus to cover, cleanse and release me from further harm (death) because of it. I begin now, this day to speak the truth – what I know is truth, Your word and I make it mine.

 

I am strong. Because I am strong, I persevere. I will not allow death to reign in my dreams anymore. I will not allow disappointment with people or circumstances to defeat me. I am strong. I persevere until I see the life I know you want me to bring.

 

Thank You, for Your patience and perseverance with me. I call myself instructed, corrected and set right. I love Your instruction, Lord. Thank you. Amen.

 

Declaration: Even though I feel weak at times, I am really strong. I am very strong to accomplish God’s purposes in my life, and be a strength to others. I prophesy daily over my circumstances, my future, and over the dry areas of my life. Amen

Day 2: Igniting Faith in 40 Days with Steve and Wendy Backlund

January 5, 2014

Day 2

Rom 4:17 – (as it is written, A father of many nations have I made thee) before him whom he believed, (even) God, who giveth life to the dead, and calleth the things that are not, as though they were. ASV

The authors talk about an apple tree: “An apple tree will produce apples because of what it is. When it’s young, it will have no apples; but still it must say, ‘I am an apple tree.’ When it is winter and there are no apples; it still says, ‘I am an apple tree.’ Is it lying at those times? No. It would be lying to say anything different.”

Journal
The analogy of the apple tree is genius! I planted apple trees in my yard three years ago. They have not yet borne any fruit, but I’ve never not called them apple trees because of it. This helps me to recognize myself as God’s creation more than anything else. Though I’ve not borne the fruit I know God designed me to bear, I am no less His child and His creation. I will think of this on the days that I feel like beating myself up because the fruit is just not there.

My husband Bob, and I have had these discussions many times. He gets frustrated because I am so focused on the word. He likes to listen to the different news stations and talk about how bad things are in the economy and other political gossip. I hate that. I try to make him understand that the wisdom of the Bible says, “Faith comes by hearing.” Because he chooses to listen to the voice of the world through the news stations, he is fearful. Because he chooses to speak what he hears, then he has no faith in anything changing.

I think of the multitude that God brought out of Egypt. He delivered the whole bunch of them from Egypt, with signs and wonders. Then they traveled some time into the wilderness toward the promised land. When they encountered problems, God always had an answer that resulted in deliverance and well-being.

So, when they sent the 12 spies into the promised land to map out their strategy, and 10 of the 12 came back with an “evil report”, it convinced the multitude that the promise was not attainable. The voice of the ten was louder and more convincing than the voice of the two. In fact, the multitude wanted to stone the two who spoke in faith of the promise that they could take the land.

To me, that is the place much of the Church is in. We’ve listened to the voice of the world. Those people who refused to believe Joshua and Caleb, were probably all nice people. They were someone’s dad or mom. They were sisters and brothers and friends and neighbors. They were not bad people. But they were people who died without taking the promise. Why? Because faith comes by hearing and they heard the voice of defeat before they even tried to win the victory. The 80% voice was too much for them to hear the voice of conviction and truth. God said the land was theirs. God said He would go with them. God said that the victory was theirs because He had already given it to them. But they heard the spies who said, “We saw ourselves as grasshoppers and knew that’s how the people living in the land saw us too.”

The Church has a small minority living close to the promise. We are starting to hear about people healing the sick, raising the dead and casting out demons. But most of the Church doesn’t see themselves doing any of that. Many are afraid of demons. Many are afraid of confrontation. They will most likely die without seeing the promise. I want to see the promise. I want to live in the promised land. I want to bring others there with me. So, I choose to believe I’m a child of God. I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. I am not afraid. I am walking toward the promise, by choosing to hear what God says and shutting out the clutter and noise of the world as much as possible.

Declaration
I am who the Word says I am. I have a sound mind. I have great favor with God and man. People love me. I am a happy person. I love life and enjoy every day. I walk in divine health. I have abundant provision. I am blessed and protected. I increasingly know who and what I am in Christ. I make a tremendous difference for Christ wherever I go.

I don’t see apples yet, but thank God, He reminds me of who I am even when I don’t yet see the fruit. Thank You, Jesus for making me a new creation and filling me with Your words to guide me to the fullness of the promise. Amen.

Day One: Igniting Faith In 40 Days with Steve and Wendy Backlund

January 4, 2014

I’ve begun a new study with one of the girls I mentor. The book is called Igniting Faith in 40 Days. Steve Backlund and his wife, Wendy wrote it. They are teachers at Bethel in Redding. It is a great refresher and each time I do it, God seems to pull deeper from within me. I am encouraged and I wanted to share with you how it affects me.

The scripture choices are from the book. The declaration is from the book. The journaling is mine.

Day 1

Josh 1:3

3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, to you have I given it, as I spake unto Moses.
ASV

Journal

I could just as easily hear the Lord speak to me, “every promise you read in the Bible directed toward the Church, I have given it to you.” It is legally mine because He already gave it by speaking the word and by Jesus fulfilling the covenant requirement.

At the moment I think of this thing I’ve been dealing with in my eyes. The doctor diagnosed me with glaucoma. But God says, by Jesus’ stripes I am healed. I say it, I believe it, yet my pressure kept increasing. Two weeks ago, the pressure measurements were alarming. 28 in right eye, 29 in the left. She gave me yet another prescription and told me to come back in two weeks.

This was like the 12th different medicine they tried to get this pressure stabilized. Nothing seemed to work. They didn’t want to do yet another surgery. It was stressful, needless to say.

Today I went to the doctor and the pressure in the right eye measured 14 and the pressure in the left eye measured 13! Miraculous results, to say the least. I’ve not had readings that low in I don’t know how long. Years.

The promise is legally binding. God said it, Jesus paid the price and I believe it. I choose to walk like a healed person. I speak like a healed person. I persevere until the numbers reflect the healing continually. This land (of healing) is mine. I place the sole of my feet on that land because He has given it to me. Amen.

Declaration

I am who the Bible says I am. Today, I am the healed.
I have what it says I have. Today I have healthy eyes.
I can do what it says I can do. Today, I can walk in the land promised to me. The land of healing is mine.

I increasingly possess, in my experience, the promises of God. Thank you Lord. Amen.

Dedication

September 18, 2013

Prov 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go, And even when he is old he will not depart from it. (ASV)

 

Ron Hembree, author of Draw Near: 365 Guides to Greater Intimacy with God, writes this concerning Prov 22:6:

 

“To the modern mind, the verb ‘train’ smacks of discipline.”

 

This is what I was told this verse meant. In fact, I was taught that training my child was to use the ‘rod of correction.’ But does it? Is this really God’s plan for your child and mine?

 

Ron Hembree continues: “However, in the original Hebrew that is not at all what ‘train’ meant. In that ancient tongue, “train” denoted the action of the midwife when she would dip her finger in the oil and rub the tiny palate of the newborn baby, causing that baby to have a desire to suck. Thus, what that verse really means is, “Create a taste for God in the heart of your child, and when he is old nothing else in life will satisfy his hunger.”

 

Interesting? I think so! It changes everything I understood about training my children. I took the “disciplinarian” track after I got saved and it backfired horrendously in my face. I can understand that more now that I see this.

 

I looked up the word translated “train” in that verse in the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible and it means primarily, “dedication.” God is telling us in this proverb that if we will dedicate our children to Him from the beginning, then when they are older and able to make their own decisions, they won’t leave the relationship. But what does it mean to dedicate our children to the Lord? This word translated ‘train’ can tell us.

 

The ancient pictograph language wrote the word like this: hhet, nun, and kaph. Please give me a moment to explain these letters and their meanings to see the meaning of this word as it was originally intended when this verse was written.

 

hhet: In the ancient Hebrew pictograph, this letter was drawn as a tent wall. The tent represented the family. The outside wall of the tent protects the family within by separating them from the elements, predators and influences outside the tent. This letter in the word translated “train” helps us understand that to train a child in this way is an act of protection and provision. We separate our children from people and situations that might harm, distract or lead them to wrong conclusions, giving us a chance to influence them and demonstrate to them the goodness of God in our lives.

 

nun: The ancient pictograph of the letter nun is a seed sprout, representing a new generation. It brings the idea of continuation, perpetuation, offspring or heir. As well, we think of life.

 

kaph: The ancient form of kaph is the open palm of a hand. It implies to bend or curve from the shape of a palm as well as to tame or subdue as one who is shaped to another’s will.

 

I think of an artist as they sculpt a bust. They drape and mold the clay over a wire form to shape it before the actual design can come through.

 

This is what Abraham did with Isaac. God said this concerning Abraham, “For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” (Gen 18:19) The word translated household begins with the hhet (tent). Those within his private dwelling would know the ways of the Lord because Abraham would train them to know.

 

Abraham adored Isaac. I don’t see him whacking him to get his point across, but rather providing an environment that allowed Isaac to see the goodness, justice and rightness of God. I believe he did that so profusely that when he took Isaac to the mountain as God’s sacrifice, that Isaac didn’t fight him.

 

By this time, Isaac was a man, not a boy as we sometimes see in the children’s church manuals. Abraham was an old man. Really old. Isaac could have overpowered him and refused to lay down on the altar. But his entire life was filled with the goodness, faithfulness and love of the God Abraham was sacrificing to. I think Isaac willingly submitted to his dad because throughout his life, his dad had molded him and trained him to know and love God. By now, I believe he was a believer in the God who gave him life and believed He would continue to do so.

 

Jacob did this with Joseph too, and when it came time for Joseph to endure the slavery forced on him, he could allow the word of God to refine him to be leader of his family the way the boyhood dreams always told him he would (Ps 105:19).

 

As for the scripture a few verses down from this verse about training our children, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him (Prov 22:15). The word of God is referred to many times in the Hebrew scriptures as a rod. And the word translated “discipline” here means instruction. The ancient Hebrew meaning for this word is literally, “to turn the head.” The rod will turn the head of the child from folly.

 

Isn’t that what Paul said in Romans 12:2? Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (turn the head). Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

As God’s children, as His family dwelling within His tent, He gives us the form to lay the clay of our lives over and shape us. His word (or rod) will turn our heads around to know, and I might add, desire what is good, pleasing and perfect to Him. Like Isaac, we will be so convinced of God’s goodness, faithfulness and rightness that we will willingly lay down our lives knowing He will raise them up again.

 

When we live like that, then I believe we will train others to love Him too. Without raising our voice or our hand. 

 

Father, I give you (again) my life. I submit my mind to your word to change me, to renovate me, to train me in the way I should go. I am Your child. Train me. Discipline me with Your word. I want to fully know your good, pleasing and perfect will is and I desire for those around me to be so impressed with Your changes that they come to You too. Amen. So be it, my Father, according to Your word.

There is Power in the Name of Jesus

March 25, 2013

“Master,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.” Luke 9:49-50 (NIV)

I still cannot get it out of my head. I’ve been hearing it repeatedly. Even in my sleep, I hear Kim Walker Smith singing, “There is Power in the Name of Jesus to break every chain.” So, I began to meditate on the power that is in the name of Jesus. I still need to break some chains.

The ancient Hebrew people believed that the name of a person represented his character, honor, authority and reputation. They named their children what they hoped their children would become and know so deeply that their life reflected that belief. That’s why you see so many bible characters named with God’s name in their own. For instance, Hannah named her son Samuel, which means, hears from God.

So, when Jesus tells us that when we ask anything in His name we will receive it, He is telling us that the power in His character, honor, authority and reputation will accomplish what we pray for (Jn 14:13-14). Interestingly, the religious leaders of Israel asked Peter and John by what power or name they were healing people. Peter replied, by the name of Jesus who is the Christ.

The only requirement (apparently) is that we believe in His name (character, honor, authority and reputation) and use it for the good He is. “And these signs will follow those who believe; in my name they will cast out demons, speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents and if they drink any deadly thing they will recover.” (Mk 16:17-18). Now that take up serpents is a Hebraism for expiating (put an end to) sin. It does not mean we are supposed to go around picking up serpents with our hands. It means we are to deal with the sin the serpent brought in the world the way Jesus did. We are to stand in His character, honor, authority and reputation and heal all those oppressed by the devil.

I also want to note that it doesn’t require we be perfect to accomplish Jesus’ work. I used to believe that. It requires that we believe. According to the verse above, even those that weren’t following Jesus were accomplishing the work He did because they believed in His name.

There is more. Much more. I just need to keep meditating on it to know the more. I want to represent His name wonderfully, but I don’t want to be intimidated to begin doing what He said those who believe would do. Amen, so be it to me, my Lord, according to your word of truth and life.