Following His Footsteps

Get ready for a whole entire blog filled with spiritual metaphors that came out of a vision God gave me!  Before you read it however, I just want to share this disclaimer that while getting a vision from God can definitely be a very spiritual experience, one does not have to be super spiritual, or in some super spiritual state to hear from God in this way.  He is always speaking to our heads, hearts, and all around us!  The vision I describe here was just as simple as me focusing on the Lord, seeing this picture in my mind, thinking it was weird, and then realizing because of all the symbolism that it was probably God.  If you’re interested in learning how God speaks to you personally, I would highly recommend the workbook Empower Yourself in the Holy Spirit by Sally Hanan which taught me how to engage with God in the primary way He speaks to me (visually!).  Educate yourself!  🙂

A couple weekends ago, I went to a conference in Hurst called Encounter, and as I was closing my eyes and simply focusing on Jesus during worship, He gave me this vision:

I was crawling on extremely dusty ground behind Jesus Who was in a white robe with bare feet.  He was walking full speed ahead and I was so close to Him that the dust of His feet was kicking up in my face, and I was being engulfed in clouds of it!  My eyes were locked on His feet, and every time He took a step, I was somehow able to pick up His footprints and EAT them.  Yeah, you heard me – His footsteps were my food.  And if that wasn’t weird enough, every time I would eat one, I would start glowing!

 

Yeah, this is definitely something I could not make up on my own.  🙂  However, as I began to ask God about it, He revealed way too much for me to keep it to myself, and I don’t believe it was just for me.  Here is the interpretation, and let me know if it speaks to you like it does me!

 

He is teaching us how to be humble

At first, I was a little bit hurt that I was not only behind Jesus and not face to face, but that I was actually crawling on the ground, and His feet were kicking clouds of dust in my face!  However, my sweet brother who is currently in an Internship at our church (Church Eleven32) showed me something that he learned recently about ancient rabbinical leadership.  In Jewish tradition, when speaking to disciples, they would use the adage: “May you be covered in the dust of your Rabbi,” which basically means:

May you follow your Teacher’s footsteps so closely that you are overtaken by the clouds of dust kicked up by their feet.

 

To crawl behind the dust of Jesus’ feet is not dishonorable.  It is, in fact, the highest honor because it means that you are not concerned with yourself – how you look, or what people think of you – but you are humbly laying your life down and moving forward in step with Him.  The King of the Universe deserves a posture of praise and humility!  We can praise Him all day long, but what does true honor and praise look like to God but to take even the most humbling of steps He asks of us?

A month before I had this vision, I had a little internal battle with the Lord when He asked me to do something I have always said I would never do.  I actually told the Lord, “You know I don’t want this to be a part of my story!” to which He replied, “You will do everything I tell you, but you don’t want to right now because you’ve made an idol of your story.”  Ouch.  If that’s not a hit to my pride and a call to repentance, I don’t know what is.  He showed me that obedience to God kills pride and births humility.  After all, obedience wouldn’t be true obedience if it was only ever what we wanted to do in the first place.  It is humbling!  So, I told the Lord I loved Him more than my story, and I would obey Him, to which He didn’t have to say anything, but out of His abundant kindness He whispered, “You’re going to love the story I give you.”  🙂

I believe that sometimes God just wants to remind us that we’re not too good for ANYTHING He asks us to do.  Even still, He doesn’t ask us to do things in vain.  There is purpose in every step He asks of us so He is therefore deserving of the steps we don’t understand yet.

 

He is calling us to eat His Word

Now to get to the weird part of the vision.  The footsteps of Jesus were edible to me!  So what does this mean?  I believe this is a beautiful picture of what it looks like to be one with Jesus: not only following His every step, but actually devouring His footsteps, a.k.a. His Word, and wanting to be just like Him!  Every step I ate then caused me to glow from the inside-out.

Track with me for a second…

If Psalm 119:105 says His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, and Jesus is the Light of the world…as we consume and follow His Word (His every step laid out for us), we become His light too!

Let that sink in.  What an honor it is to have everything I ever need to know to live a life that’s pleasing to Him already laid out for me in His Word.  He makes it so easy!

 

He is leading us through the wilderness

Finally, I believe Jesus was leading me on dry and dusty ground because He wanted to encourage me, and you, that He is showing us the way through whatever season we find ourselves in, one step at a time.  Even though I couldn’t see His face, I inherently knew in my vision that He was smiling, and considering me as He took His steps.  When I stay low, keep in step with His pace, and keep my eyes on His feet: where He walks, I will walk, what He does, I will do, and what He says, I will say.  It’s a given, because my eyes are fixed on Him.  I won’t be distracted by the things to my right or to my left, things in front or things behind.  When I look at the Lord, my eyes are on the Prize, my perspective is adjusted, and I won’t have to be in the wilderness any longer than necessary, contrasted by the Israelites who took their eyes off of God and prolonged their wilderness season 40 years.  In fact, I think the Lord sometimes kicks up extra dust in our faces on purpose so He can keep our eyes from looking around at anyone but Him.

Even if I can’t see much, as long as my eyes are on Him still in front of me, I can see enough.

 

I hope this vision blessed you as much as it blessed me.  Jesus is looking for laid down lovers who are willing to be prostrate before Him, and who aren’t afraid of what it looks like to get into the dirt of obedience to His Word and be covered completely by the dust of His feet.  When you humble yourself by following His footsteps, face-down with your eyes fixed on Him, you can be assured that He is going before you to prepare the way, and that He is leading you right where He wants you to be.

 

Blog Pic: At New Smyrna Beach, Florida in Summer of 2016 (where God did a ton of healing in my heart and I’m still so thankful)

Surrender the Seeds

On the one year anniversary of my blog, I want to share something God taught me in October that I still think about almost every day…

A couple months ago on my birthday weekend, I visited a church I dearly love and used to go to all the time in college called Upper Room (you may have heard of it ;))!  That Sunday night, part of what Pastor Michael Miller talked about was not being afraid to fully surrender, the seeds, or the dreams, that God has placed inside of you.

Let’s just say it cut me deep.

God wants to give us the dreams He’s placed inside of us.  However, as much as it may seem like it, you don’t actually want your dream – you want God in the midst of it.  He knows our dreams only work when we die to ourselves and live for Him, so, if our desires are consuming us more than He is, we’ve got to rearrange our priorities!  He wants those things for us, but He will not let them have us.

 

Pastor Michael Miller’s message spoke to me so deeply, but not in an emotional way.  I didn’t “feel” anything, but when he asked us to come up to the front if we were willing to let the seeds of our dreams die, I felt convicted and wanted to take a step.  I went up to the front and knelt before the Lord, but as profound as I wanted this moment to be, it didn’t feel like anything was happening.  I prayed, “God, You know I am genuinely wanting to surrender my dreams to You and I don’t want to go home the same, but I don’t even feel You.  Am I holding myself back in any way?”

 

That night passed, and I still didn’t hear anything from God about this, but I had faith that He would speak.  It just so happened that two nights later was our young adult group at my church called The Gathering.  During worship, I knelt on the ground and prayed this simple prayer of surrender again, but I still didn’t hear anything from Him.  At this point, I felt kind of dejected and I decided to leave early to spend some time with God alone.  It was then, right as I was walking out the door, that my friend Vianca walked in and stopped me.  She said that God had given her a word for me during worship, and that she would text me about it later that night!  I was anxious to hear what she heard from God, and I wanted to make sure it was straight from Him so I prayed, “God, if this is truly a word from You, let me cry…no, let me ball my eyes out.”  I now realize that this sounds like a super weird prayer, but I was desperate to hear from God about this and like my Pastor, Dustin Bates, always says, “Desperation knows no decency.”

Well, Vianca texted me what God told her, and the second I read it…I wept.  Like, open the flood gates, get out the ark, heave sob, crocodile tears.  I realized that God heard my prayer!  What was the word you ask?  She saw a vision of me during worship, and then she saw soil – the Lord was causing an earthquake to break through the ground and PLANT!

My friend did not know a thing about my prayer, and yet, at probably the very moment I was kneeling on the floor crying out to God, He was giving her a vision of His answer to me.  At first, I cried because I realized how much God loves me, and I was so happy that even though I didn’t feel anything when I was praying, He heard my prayers and received my offering!  However…then I cried because I realized that God actually heard my prayers and received my offering.  I started to feel like I was stuck in the middle of a “yes God, kill my dreams” but “can You please also make them happen really fast?” emotional roller-coaster.

I had to realize that when we surrender the seeds of our dreams to the Lord we are surrendering them to His timetable to grow.  It’s not like we surrender them for a season and then God says “I now see that you have given this to me and I will therefore make everything happen the way that you desire, immediately.”  He might in fact do that, but true surrender means that, even if He doesn’t, we will still surrender it all to Him.  It looks like praying, “God, whatever it looks like and however long it takes, I will always, only do whatever You ask me to.”

 

Surrendering the seeds is surrendering your dreams to God for them to be done in His will and His way.  It’s giving Him complete control because we never had it anyway.

 

It is a DAILY BATTLE to stay in the place of full surrender, but I am so thankful that even when we don’t realize we aren’t fully surrendered in an area, Jesus realizes and yet He patiently waits for us because He loves us.  We are already justified by His blood, but sanctification happens in surrender.  It’s a process!

Remember when I said my birthday was that weekend?  Well, as I was still weeping and processing (for four hours, I kid you not), my eyes just happened to keep being drawn to a balloon my mom had bought me that was floating back and forth and shining “Happy Birthday” at me.  At that very moment, the Lord spoke to me,

 

“Happy.  Birth.  Day.  The day you die is the day you’re born.”

 

Cue weeping even more.  When you feel like your dreams are dying and there is no guarantee that they will happen any time soon, you can know that God is the God of the Resurrection.  The day you finally let those things die is the day you’re born!  God is faithful to complete what He began.  Laying your dreams and plans to down to die may sound counter-intuitive, but it is actually the only way to let them grow and come to life.

 

Surrender the seeds and watch them grow.

 

“I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest.” – John 12:24

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” – Colossians 3:7, 10-11

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” – Galatians 6:7

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” – Galatians 6:9

“So neither he who plants is anything nor he who waters, but [only] God Who makes it grow and become greater.” – 1 Corinthians 6:7 (AMP)

 

Blog Pic: Friends and the sunflowers we picked at Coyote Drive-In