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My Journey into Glory

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Hello, beloved.

It’s been a while. I’ve been on a journey with the Lord that shifted my attention from writing for a season. In the midst of building our ministry and discipling people, God has been revealing Himself personally to me in profound and beautiful ways—ways I long for you to experience too. He still heals hearts, you know, and He dearly wants to heal yours.

But I wonder if you even recognize that you need healing. Do you, dear one? I only ask because I didn’t, at least not to the depth that Jesus saw I needed. And you and I will never invite Jesus in to restore what we don’t recognize we need.

So, I’m about to get vulnerable with you. Because we NEED vulnerability. Desperately. Our hiding has kept the enemy powerful, and we need to learn the glory of stepping into the light.

Two years ago in healing prayer, I had a powerful encounter with Jesus. He led me back to a pivotal memory as a small child that had shifted my understanding of who I was supposed to be, and there, my precious Jesus redeemed it. I literally saw Him exchange the influence of that moment with a crisp, clean, white page—a new beginning as He wiped my slate clean.

As our prayer came to a close, my friend sensed in the Spirit, “He wants to show you His glory. Ask Him to show it to you.”

I made the request, unprepared for what I was about to see. The image caught my breath and left me sobbing before my King.

It was me.

Part of me still hesitates to share the moment with you. Even now, the false humility much of the church calls “spiritual” wants to apologize for it. But understanding truth is what sets Kingdom sons and daughters free, so I’m sharing it anyway. I saw myself shining in dazzling splendor. Regal. Crowned. Radiant with light. Glorious!

Instantly, unbelief began to discredit the vision, until the Spirit reminded me of Jesus’ words to His Father on the night He gave His life for us.

The glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are one, 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me.” John 17:22-23

Did you know that you carry His glory, dear one? Jesus poured His glory into you the moment you put your faith in Him. He poured it into me, too. He created us to be His image bearers, reflecting the beauty of His own nature and filling the earth with the glory of who He is. But when we shape our identity around our own life experience and the enemy’s deceptions instead of this truth, that glory remains hidden. And you and I will never live out the full potential of what we carry.

I almost didn’t.

What should’ve unleashed fresh anointing and victorious power in my life set off a war within my soul. My mind understood the truth that Scripture was declaring, and my heart joyfully leapt at the knowledge! But underneath, hidden within the deep wounds of my past, my heart couldn’t believe it for myself. And I didn’t know I couldn’t. I honestly thought that I was leaning into that beautiful promise! But then I began to experience a feeling of separation from God.

It doesn't matter what you know. What matters is what you believe. #onlyFaithAccessesGrace Click To Tweet

Can you relate, dear one? Have you ever felt a shift in your relationship with Jesus that leaves you longing for what you had? Yet no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to get there?

That was me. Loving Jesus. Serving Him. Yet feeling a growing chasm between my heart and His.

This happens, dear one, when our hearts reject the truth He declares over us, when something inside us denies Him by refusing to believe what He says. We can’t experience the intimate fellowship He longs for while we disagree with Him. Amos 3:3 (NKJV) says, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” The answer, child of God, remains “no.”

Beloved, when we reject His words, we reject Jesus.

I will share more of my story next time, but for now, let’s establish the foundational truth I believe God wants to anchor our hearts in. You are a glory carrier. If you have put your faith in Jesus, His glory lies within you. And above all else, He wants to reveal it through you. Not by asking you to perform good works, but by teaching you who you truly are as He shows you who He is.

Take a moment to reflect on our opening Scripture:

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Did you see it, dear one? The same image. Not a lesser version. Not an imperfect replica of the true. God desires to transform us into the same image that He Himself bears. Righteous. Regal. Radiant. Pure. Glorious.

Let’s stop allowing the enemy to convince us to settle for less than promises. He schemes to limit the revelation of God’s power on earth by convincing His people that we are less than who we are. Our God is calling us higher, so let’s raise the bar. Jesus accomplished an incredible miracle on that old rugged cross. He made us much more than we think we are. He made us who He is.

Perhaps it’s time we believed Him.

 

A New Perspective to Unlock the Power of the Gospel

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. Philippians 1:3-5

Paul got excited over these Philippian believers.

Look at his words. He thanked God every time he remembered them. And always, every time he prayed for them, he lifted his prayer with joy.

What made these believers such a source of joy and thanksgiving? Their partnership in the gospel.

I’ll be honest. For a long time I looked at those verses and thought that Paul simply rejoiced because they were helping in the work of kingdom building. But recently God took me deeper. He asked me to consider what that word partnership really meant.

So now I invite you to join me on the path He led me down. Let’s start by defining the gospel itself. Paul defines it for us in 1 Corinthians 15:1-5.

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

 The gospel that saves hinges on three important truths.

  1. Christ died for our sins
  2. He was buried
  3. He was raised to new life

Here’s the heart of the gospel, beloved. Death. Burial. Resurrection.

And here’s why I believe we witness so little of the gospel’s power in our own lives. We carry the message of the gospel—Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection— without participating in the gospel ourselves.

We want the resurrection power the gospel proclaims. We just don’t like the means to experience it. Beloved, death and burial must precede resurrection life.

And this, I believe, is what made Paul so excited about these Philippian believers. They had partnership in the gospel from the first day they heard it. They themselves participated in the death, burial, and resurrection, experiencing the transforming work of the cross within their own hearts.

You see, the original Greek word translated partnership in Philippians 1:5 is Koinōnia, which means: close association between persons, emphasizing what is common between them; by extension: participation, sharing…fellowship, communion.

These believers shared in Christ’s suffering, choosing fellowship in the death and burial of their flesh nature, so that they could also experience Christ’s resurrection power. And this led to Paul’s often quoted proclamation in Philippians 1:6.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Beloved, what if we chose to begin this year with a new way of thinking? What if our partnership in the gospel could be more than just sharing creeds and faith? What if we committed to fellowship with Christ in the power of the gospel instead of just sharing His message?

Oh that Jesus would look upon us with the same joy that Paul felt for those early believers at Philippi! May our lives prove the message of the gospel and proclaim Christ’s kingdom.

For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. 1 Corinthians 4:20

The Still, Small Voice

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”  John 10:27, NIV

Last Friday morning, my eyelids fluttered open to discover that it was still dark. Ordinarily I wouldn’t be thrilled by that observation, but I felt the Lord whispering to my heart, “Meet me for the sunrise.”

Anticipation stirred my soul, and I carefully slid from the bed to avoid waking my husband. This was the moment I’d been waiting for.

It was the last day of our family vacation in Hatteras, NC, and I had been seeking an answer for an important decision looming ahead of me in ministry. I felt fairly confident I had heard from the Lord, but I had asked Him for confirmation. I eagerly dressed to head to the beach, expecting He was about to give it.

My husband’s voice interrupted my thoughts, “Are you going out to watch the sunrise?”

“I’m going to meet with the Lord,” I answered.

“Do you mind if I join you?”

I hesitated. Truth be told, I did mind.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband. Most of the time I’d rather be with him than any other person on the face of the earth. But I wasn’t heading out to enjoy the romantic notion of the sunrise. I had an altogether different plan in mind. I needed to hear from God. And quite frankly, my husband’s presence there didn’t fit my view of what that moment was supposed to look like. I thought he’d be—well, a distraction.

So I wanted to tell him to go back to sleep. But that familiar stirring reminded me that I should put his desires ahead of my own. Instead I answered, “sure.”

He dressed quickly and we slipped together out the sliding door. Grabbing two beach chairs, we headed through the sand to the shore.

For several minutes we sat in companionable silence staring out at the sea. Both of us had brought headphones, and I decided that listening to worship might help me open my heart and clear my mind. I tried not to notice that my husband had placed his chair in a way that blocked my view of the beach. I closed my eyes so I wouldn’t see him fidgeting with his iPad.

Then he turned his head to smile at me and reached out his hand for mine.

Again, I hesitated, and the Lord spoke. “You are stronger together.”

I took my husband’s outstretched hand, offering silent prayer to the Lord. I confessed my selfishness and asked His forgiveness, thanking Him for the many gifts I had in my husband. Peace began to flood my soul as I realized that Jesus wanted me to share our intimate fellowship with my husband. Christ had something to reveal to us together that wouldn’t be realized apart.

Hand in hand, listening to the sounds of the sea, we prayed together. I can’t recall all that was said. I simply remember the sweet encounter with Jesus we shared, and the feel of warm tears slowly descending down my cheeks.

Afterward we sat in silence again, watching the waves crash the beach. Without even looking at me, my husband spoke. “We’re supposed to go with Larry.”

It was the answer to the question I had asked my Shepherd to clarify. I had prayed specifically that His Spirit would reveal the path to each of us, that we both would hear the same divine message and our agreement would reveal Him in the midst of it. My husband’s words were the confirmation I had sought.

God did give me the answer I longed for that morning, not in spite of my husband’s presence there, but through it. How thankful I am that I listened to the stirring of His gentle Spirit instead of the loud roar of my flesh. Now I didn’t just have a Word from the Lord. I had a witness. Oh how I love His faithfulness!

You might be interested to know what initiated my divine appointment with God on the beach that day. My husband shared with me that he had trouble getting to sleep the night before. As he finally drifted off, he made a last request of the Lord. He asked God to wake him for the sunrise.

Kind of gives a new perspective on the term “helpmate,” doesn’t it? My husband asked to see the sunrise so the Lord woke his wife. I asked for direction, and the Lord gave it through my husband.

“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”  Matthew 19:6

God’s ways are always higher, always better. Imagine if we learned to walk in tune with the still, small voice, surrendering selfishness moment by moment in exchange for His gentle instruction. I think we’d discover an abundance of sweet blessings.

I’m game. Are you?