Receiving from Heaven

When I was in L.A. for Bethel’s Heaven Come Conference, I received some encouragement during an afternoon session from someone on the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry Team.  She said many things to me, but part of it was about receiving from God in the season that I’m in.  Now, almost every time I get into a corporate time of worship, it still rings at the forefront of my mind!


Sometimes as Christians, we can fall prey to mindsets that prevent us from receiving more that God wants to say and do in our lives without even realizing it.  They may be sinful, or simply distractions from the enemy, but either way, they are never God’s will!  Being aware of these mindsets and doing what we can to change them makes us so much more sensitive to receive from Him, and to hear what He wants to say to us.  All it takes is being open.  🙂


So, with that being said, I would love to share some ways that my BSSM friend encouraged me on how to stay in the mode of receiving from Heaven:


  1. First, you must kill comparison:

God wants a relationship with YOU – not the person you look up to, and not the person you’re trying to be.  If you can believe that God loves you the way you are right now, you’ll be able to lay everything down to become who He wants you to be, and receive what He wants to give you.  It’s that easy!  Don’t look around during worship thinking, “Oh, that person seems so close to God” or, “I wonder what they think of me right now.”  Focus on God.  You CAN be close to Him, and what He thinks of you is more important.

The enemy wants to keep you distracted focusing on others’ lives, all the while missing out on what God is doing in yours!  It may be sly, but don’t take the bait.  🙂  As you become more aware of what God is doing in YOUR life, you will become more joyful, confident, effective in ministry, and actually available to celebrate what God is doing in their lives as well!

Encouragement from my BSSM friend:

 “It is for YOUR freedom that Jesus went to the cross.  For you, not for anyone else, because only you fulfill His dreams for you…Comparison is evil.  It’s wicked.  God didn’t create you to be someone else.  He wants you the way you are.  He loves you the way you are.  Steward the identity of who you are, just be you.


  1. Second, you must never settle:

I used to try so hard to wrap my brain around what God was JUST previously doing and saying, so much so that I sometimes missed what fresh thing He was trying to do and say IN THE MOMENT!  Instead, I believe God wants our posture to be that of a people who are always searching for new things and don’t put a cap on what He wants to say or do.  If it is His will to enable us to discover more about Him, His Word, and ourselves, then He is the One who will give us the capacity to understand and actually retain it all.  I don’t have to strive to get there on my own, but if He intends to take me from glory to glory, I also don’t intend to stay where I am!  May we live like children who are constantly curious and who simply seek Him and let Him teach us.  May we always be excited for new adventures with God.

Encouragement from my BSSM friend:

 “It’s like we’re traveling and we see a mountain.  The more our spirits bond, the more we connect, and the more we see new things together.  God is saying, come on, let’s go further, let’s see more, and you’re saying, ‘But what about this morning?’  God is doing something new.  Don’t try to capture what God did this morning only and miss what He’s doing right now.  That’s boring to God and a very human attitude.  Always go for new things.  No matter what happens, even if it’s not what you want or what you prayed for; it’s an opportunity for a new level.  Flip it like a coin and you will see amazing things, even if it’s not what you expect.


  1. Third, you must give yourself permission to be wild and free:

Open your heart so wide that you can’t even see the walls and receive whatever He has for you.  It’s not just a nice metaphor, but an honest, open posture before God that is unconcerned with the things of this world, and concerned with Him.  He encourages us to think and feel, but also wants to expand the ways in which we think and feel because it is only a part of the picture!  When we read His Word, we must lay down our previous opinions, thoughts, feelings, and expectations, and pick up His.  He will challenge our mindsets in love, but it takes us giving up control for Him to change us for the better!  Being open and free to whatever the God of the Universe may say is the best possible way of living.  It is my job to stop analyzing everything and to trust Him.  It is His Spirit’s job to guide me into all truth and to lead me into what is best for me!

Encouragement from my BSSM friend:

 “Open your heart so wide that you can’t even see the walls of your heart, and receive whatever He has new for youGive your heart permission to be free.  Give your spirit permission to go wild.  Be set free beyond all paradigms and all human thinking according to His Word.”


I believe that God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), but we also need to make sure we do not hinder our growth in any way due to faulty mindsets.  Receiving from heaven looks like killing comparison so you don’t miss what God is doing in YOUR life by focusing on someone else’s, not settling or putting a cap on how much God can speak to you, and giving full control to God in whatever He has for you, even if it challenges you and doesn’t look like what you expected.  🙂


Blog Pic: Standing with arms wide open (obviously, like Creed) at the top of McCullough Gulch Trail in Breckenridge, CO

Talking to God

I am learning that nothing is too small to talk to God about.  If I ever have the conscious thought that, “Oh, that’s not that big of a deal – I don’t have to ask Him about that,” then I must ask myself whose voice I’m actually listening to; that of the enemy or the Lord.


That may seem really intense, but I believe that God has shown me a few times recently I could have easily moved forward with things that were not His will for me…if I hadn’t asked Him about it in advance!  You see, God desires us to know His will, but we have to ask to know it.  He won’t force us to make the best decisions as much as He knows they are best for us, but He also won’t hide them from us if we ask.  He wants us to seek Him first and listen to His voice so much so that we are able to discern and choose the best out of obedience and love for Him, even if we don’t see the full picture yet.  This is why it is so important to open ourselves up to constant dialogue and communion with Him so that we don’t convince ourselves of things without consulting with Him and through His Word first.


This has really been on my mind recently because just a few weeks ago, my best friend of ten years and I had a beautiful sit down chat in which we discovered something absolutely hilarious about our friendship.  Like I said, we’ve been friends for ten years, but it was only a few weeks ago that we both finally realized that when it comes to our friendship, she has always been the one to call me, and I have always been the one to text her!  It’s not actually that I don’t like talking on the phone – I absolutely love it, but if I’m really busy throughout my day, it helps me to stop and quietly think through things I want to say through a text instead of a phone call (internally processing instead of externally processing).  She however, feels it is way easier to talk on the phone instead of having to stop and type everything out as she goes about her day (externally processing instead of internally processing).  What is so funny about this is, I always thought she was more in favor of texting like me, and she always thought I was more in favor of calling like her!  That is why, in the last few weeks since we discovered this, we have both made a point to text AND talk on the phone – communicating her way and mine!  Both are continual; it’s just a different method of communication.  🙂


Why do I share this?


I feel that God has been showing me through this that many people, whether it’s through comparing themselves to others’ way of communicating with God, or simply not having enough time in their day to stop for as long as they want to, they have neglected talking to Him altogether.  You see, whether you need to talk out loud with God, or whether you feel you need to stop and process things in a quiet place with Him – both are valid.  God birthed you with the personality you have for a reason.  You do not have to feel that you are less of a Christian for not following someone else’s method of spending time with God each day.  If you want to talk to God, just talk.  Don’t be concerned with what others are doing or how they are doing it – how long they get in the Word, or how long they pray; begin to grow in those ways yourself and believe that truly as much as you want from the Lord is available to you.  God is concerned with His relationship with YOU, so you can likewise be concerned about your relationship with Him – not someone else’s.


Confession: God did not make me to necessarily enjoy lists, but I used to feel that I needed to be more organized and list-oriented in order to pray over something fully.  If you are a list person and that is how you enjoy keeping track of your prayers with the Lord, be free and make those lists!  Enjoy fully the way that God has made your personality to communicate with Him.  If not however, do not feel condemnation that you are not as spiritual because you do not follow a certain method that may come easily to others.  There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus and as Christians we do not live under religion, but in relationship with Him!  Grow in your relationship with God the way that you would with a friend.  If you feel led to write your prayers down, write them down.  If you are a “phone” person who needs to externally process with God, do that.  And if you are a “text” person, who needs to internally pray in the quiet, do that.


The way you communicate and process things is a part of how God made you.  That being said, we ALWAYS have room to grow in our communication (hence, my story with my best friend and I), but the Lord accepts you the way you are, and wants to hear your voice no matter the method.  Don’t hold back from talking to God or from a deeper relationship with Him because you are thinking that you need to somehow grow some sort of “spiritual personality” or way of praying or reading the Word that is like someone else’s or somehow more powerful.  The power of your time with God comes from you simply believing that it is worth it, and from His Spirit guiding and teaching you.  🙂  So, let Him increase your faith to constantly communicate with Him in the way you were born to.  Your seasons and methods may change, but the Lord stays the same.


“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


Blog Pic: Glasgow Cathedral in Glasgow, Scotland

Confidence and Contentment

I’m realizing more and more how God has made me to be confident and content in Him.  Things that used to seriously drag me down simply no longer do.  Obviously, I am imperfect, and there are times when this is harder than others, but for the most part, I truly feel that there has been a shift in my life and my personal relationship with the Lord towards a deep confidence and contentment that I am beyond grateful for – not that anything has changed outside of me, but it has changed in my heart!


As I thought about how this has changed in me, specifically over this last year, I realized that it has actually come from a process I’ve been in for many years:


“Why are you cast down, O my inner self?  And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me?  Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the help of my countenance, and my God.” – Psalm 42:11


When I was in my first years of college, I wrote this verse in cursive on a pretty piece of paper and pasted it to my wall so I could see and speak it over myself every time I was discouraged.  I found that if I truly allowed myself to reflect on “why” I was upset, contrasted with God’s goodness towards me, I didn’t have to stay there for long.  It just ended up feeling small compared to Who He is to me, and the plans I know He has for me – not that it was ever unimportant or wrong to feel; just small.  I learned how to shut down the natural negative tendencies in my heart and to hope, wait, praise, and not be cast down into discouragement, even though discouraging things may be happening.  I really believe that the foundation of confidence, contentment, and joy in my life has come from processing things this way…processing all of my thoughts and emotions with God – the help of my countenance – through His Word.  I leave nothing untouched and rest in His Presence because the alternative is not an option now that I know His freedom.


True confidence, contentment, and JOY can’t be faked.  It’s not just an outward smile that only happens in public or at church.  It is a profound, irreplaceable surety that can only come from knowing God and His promises.  You can’t strive for it.  It is not something that is earned or achieved once you get to a certain place in life because if that’s the case, it’s not true confidence – it’s only circumstantial, and who’s to say you will ever even get there?!  It has to come from a place of acceptance of what already is – who you already are and what you already have in Him, so that no matter what happens in your life, you can stand confident, content, and at peace.  It has to come from a personal relationship with Jesus in which you know Him and His kindness and goodness for YOURSELF.


When we receive our confidence and contentment from God directly, we don’t have to compare ourselves to others or their stories, or to be completely distraught when things don’t go the way we planned.  As easy as that can be, there is a better way in the Spirit!  When you know Jesus, you can know with confidence and without a shadow of a doubt that even though things aren’t working out according to your plan, they are still working out in His.  You have a unique story that is different than the rest!


The Lord dealt with me in this earlier this year when I didn’t realize that I was comparing my story and timeline to that of others at my age and in my life.  He woke me up one morning and spoke to me:

“Do you not think I have the best for you, too?”


This stopped me dead in my tracks and made me to think: Why would I ever want someone else’s story or experience or timeline when I can fall in love with my own?  You see, if I can believe that God has the absolute BEST for me, and I’m not seeing it all play out yet, then whatever I’m envisioning and expecting must not be good yet!  It may be best for someone else, their season, and their situation, but me, I’m on a different path…and IT’S called the BEST.  It is not to be compared to anyone else’s, but it is mine.


“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I caused you to be carried away captive.” – Jeremiah 29:13-14


When we seek Him, God promises that He will be found by us, but this verse also shows that sometimes – whether it’s by our own actions or not (ex: Jesus being led by the Spirit into the wilderness), He will lead us into places that have the potential of captivity.  God does not tempt us with evil, but He is going to allow us to be put into difficult places/seasons that test or prove our confidence and contentment in Him.  I’ve come to learn that this is not a spitefulness, but a kindness from God.  If He didn’t allow us to go through this process, we would never realize how much we need Him, and never actually be fully confident and content.  When we feel our confidence is breaking down, that is a gift and an opportunity to explore the fullness of Who He is, and who we truly are.


If you don’t know this kind of confidence or contentment yet, there’s nothing wrong with you!  In fact, that is the most natural state of our lives.  The good news is, you simply need to allow yourself the time and space to press into Jesus to receive it!  Ask Him what He has for YOU.  Cut old things out of your life that don’t need to be there – things that take your time and energy away from being truly filled up by Him, and that don’t make sense with the confident and content life you say you really want.  Such things can be spending too much time with people, too much time on social media (talking to myself here!), and in general, too much time distracted and unable to stop and think!  If you allow yourself to slow down for a second and realize that you are not confident or content, you don’t have to let it fester and continue.  Seek the Lord for confidence, contentment, and FREEDOM from discouragement and depression.  Ask Him for the eyes to see your current situation through His joy.


I am so thankful that I have learned a contentment that is separate from everything going according to my plan.  Now, no matter what happens, I’ll be okay, because I trust the better plans God has for me.  I encourage you to not look at a season of discontentment as what will always be.  Look at it as a doorway of possibility into beginning to explore the confidence and contentment that has always been available for you through Jesus.  Just because you don’t see it all right now does not mean that you can’t still be confident and content with what you already have.  When you’re tempted to compare yourself to others, or to think that you’re somehow missing something in your current situation, remember:

“Do you not think He has the best for you, too?”


You can be confident and content wherever you are, knowing what He has promised.


Blog Pic: Hiking McCullough Gulch Trail in Breckenridge, Colorado