Category: Hope Articles
The Latest Elijah List Article: How Hope Heals the Heart by Bob Hartley with Michael Sullivant
The Dream, the Angelic Confirmation and the Lightning
In a powerful divine dream, I saw 50 million people on a Royal Journey of Hope who were looking and yearning for a deeper knowledge of God as the God of Hope in every arena of life and throughout the earth. They are the hope reformers that God will activate to usher the genuine presence and wisdom of Jesus into all the spheres of life into which they are sent. They will not be savvy and calculating people who attempt to conquer all the mountains (spheres of influence) of the earth by humanly engineered and/or forceful plans and strategies. They will be normal believers from all walks of life who will simply love, pray and do the good works they are led by the Holy Spirit to accomplish by the beautiful blend of boldness and humility that only the Spirit can impart to human souls. While they were on this journey, they entered into a large tent and banqueting hall where they found a group of others who could feed them on the true knowledge of God.
In the midst of the banquet, a massive lightning bolt, representing the indiscriminate and raw power of God, not only came down and pierced the great banqueting table, but it pierced through to the center of the earth itself and shook the entire planet. This move of God’s hand, revealed the fissures of human hearts that then turned to fractures under the weight of this glory from heaven. Every person there had heart fissures that were graciously exposed, but only some in this vast throng had previously received enough heart healing from the Holy Spirit to keep the fissures from becoming fractures.
When I awakened from this penetrating dream and I went downstairs to my kitchen. There, I encountered an angel sent from heaven I can only describe as very intense, who began to explain the divine meaning and applications of the dream to me, which I outline in this account.
Suddenly, though it was not raining, a powerful bolt of lightning struck right outside one of our upstairs bedrooms. My angelic visit was abruptly ended as my whole family was rudely awakened and startled by the lightning. This was just one of many amazing confirmations of the divine nature and importance of this dream. For instance, the Lord instructed me to share certain applicable details of this dream with over ten spiritual leaders I had previously met from across the world. I actually reached six of them that very night in the wee hours of the morning! They each confirmed to me the truth about the fissures in their lives that the Lord had revealed specifically to me about them. While I was speaking to one of them from another city altogether, lightning struck a tree in his backyard and split its trunk! To this day it is decorated with a memorial to this word and promise from God for his life.
In the dream, my own fissures turned into fractures and I realized that I too needed my heart to be healed in order to be able to stand in that day of God’s power and continue to feed others on the true knowledge Him. I had known before that hope advances the heart, but I now saw how hope must heal the heart in order for it to advance. Though it may seem incredible, the Lord made it clear that all 50 million people needed healing for the three specific fissures of the heart that I refer to in this prophetic word. This revelation is an invitation for us all to become vulnerable before God and others in order to receive healing for the fissures of our hearts and become even more useful to the Lord Jesus as this hope reformation that He is inaugurating continues to ramp up. (See our previous prophecy)
Over the course of the next few weeks our area experienced this phenomena of lightning without rain on numerous occasions. And I was having dreams with this same theme repeatedly during those nights “in concert” with the lightning strikes! Following are the practical applications the Holy Spirit has revealed to me regarding our need and hope-filled divine solutions that bring healing to our hearts.
The Three Fissures
The three fissures of heart (or “strongholds” as they are sometimes called) that God revealed came into my heart through my merely human reactions to very painful events and situations in my life. But of course, the ancient enemy of our souls does not stand by idly when such situations emerge in our lives. He has never “played fair”! Indeed, he is lurking in camouflage nearby seeking to take advantage of us in our vulnerable state…a moment of opportunity for him “to kill, steal and destroy”. (See John 10: 10) The serpent maneuvers to entice us to cooperate his deceptive strategy and pierce our own hearts with his arrows whose tips have been dipped in the poison of destructive lies. The first fissure was identified as “self-strength”, the second was “rejection” and the third was “negation”. By God’s mercy, I have made some wonderful breakthroughs in these areas and the process is continuing to this day. These three fissures have operated to counter three specific hopes that God has purposed to take hold in our lives: 1) Hope in God. 2) Hope in people. 3) Hope in present blessings.
The first specific category of ministry listed in the “good news” mission of Jesus in Isa 61:1 is: “The Lord God has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted”. The healing of the brokenhearted is a primary hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ. All of us have had our hearts broken in one way, and to one degree, or another. It simply happens by living life in a fallen world. I have had ongoing spiritual dreams about the root causes of my fissures and the Holy Spirit has revealed to me how they were formed in my soul.
The Fissure of Self-Strength
My fissure of “self-strength” was partially tied back to a tragic event that took place when I was only 16. I was a lifeguard for city pool and a little boy drowned while I was on duty. The controversy surrounding and blame for his death landed on me and dragged on for three years. This became a major citywide news story for a number of weeks and the regret I felt was incredible. The city officials who were also under fire brought in a coach from out of state to train me to become an expert swimmer…which I became…so they could take videos of me and prove in court how qualified I was to save a life. Even though the controversy was long past, I lived for many years afterward with an embedded satanic lie that I could “never rest”, but that I had to “stay on the lifeguard stand or else someone else would die”. This unresolved pain and lie unconsciously drove me. Even after I began to minister prophetically…maybe especially…I felt obligated to always be “on duty”. At one point I delivered over 10,800 lengthy personal prophecies in just a couple of years while denying myself much needed solitude, family time, sleep and recreation. My hope and trust in God were hindered and quenched in so many ways through the years due to this hidden inner vow to never get off the lifeguard stand.
The Lord showed me that one of the outcomes of my fissure of self-strength was a breakdown in my physical health. Due to pushing so hard for so many years on so many fronts and the added chronic pain from a serious back injury five years ago, my adrenal system severely broke down and failed. I had a dream where the Lord had showed me that I had forced my body into “slave labor” since I was young and it finally stopped cooperating with my agenda! The Lord has been speaking clearly to me about my need to shift to a “new operating system” where I can trust Him more than my own self-strength. This new operating system is grounded in the “rest of Christ” and allows Him to seal and heal this fissure in my heart. (See Hebrews 4:9-10) A practical outworking of this is to now take a sabbatical from leading the operations for both my businesses and ministry by delegating these responsibilities to others. The Lord has showed me to only engage in the activities He ordains that refresh my soul and renew my strength.
The Fissure of Rejection
One big rejection happened when Terry and I were first married. I set aside almost a whole month for our honeymoon time. I was very eager to get to know her more deeply. I had been working ceaselessly since I was just a boy. In my zeal, I put together a notebook that contained many probing questions for her to answer and on the first day of our honeymoon, I pulled out the notebook and began to ask her my questions. Well…that didn’t go over well at all! As I shut the notebook feeling very ashamed for my vulnerability, I also shut the book of my heart and resigned myself to the idea that she didn’t want to be known by me. This is so sad because she really did long for me to get to know her heart and pursue her, but she understandably reacted to my overly analytical method. Only recently and so many years later, by God’s goodness and the help of wise friends, have we gotten to the roots of this ironic marital disconnect.
My “rejection” fissure was also strengthened through a traumatic experience we had in Zimbabwe. Terry and I lived for a time on a communal farm with a group of courageous believers who were seeking the Lord as a lifestyle, bringing innovative renewal to the land and sharing Christ with their neighbors. This community had received threats of violence and death from some political dissidents based in that area. We had to make a decision to stay or go due to the intensification of these threats. We left one day in great haste. We took refuge on a kibbutz in Israel for a time and finally made our way back home to Kansas City. Not long after we did, we received the news that our good friends on the farm, except for two children who escaped, were all murdered.
I have mostly enjoyed favor from people throughout my years and have been a well-liked person. However, there were some leaders and friends back home who became very critical of us for our association with these believers who had been killed. They accused us of being foolish and spiritually deceived and this pain of rejection pierced me deeply.
Through these experiences and a few others like them, I became very conscious of and sensitive to the pain of rejection and when other situations came along in my life that involved some rejection and disappointment, I would over-react and shut down my hope and love for others.
The Fissure of Negation
My “negation” fissure was a family matter and a family pattern. If you would tell my grandmother what a beautiful day it was, she would retort, “yes, but it will probably rain tomorrow”! (I now understand that this has been a concerted and focused attack from the enemy against my divine calling to be a bearer of hope to others. He has been threatened by this calling on my life since I was born.) I believe this negation most often gets set into our souls as we attempt to wrongly protect ourselves from possible disappointments. If we are sub-consciously expecting the worst to happen, maybe even especially when a positive thing comes our way to build up our hope, then we won’t be so devastated if that good thing doesn’t materialize or come to fruition. We even find ourselves resistant to letting God put hope in our hearts because the risk to hope seems too high. This can easily become a self-fulfilling cycle of defeat and it is one of the enemy’s favorite strategies to trap us in despair.
The Lord has shown me how demonic this force really is. I compare it to the roadway in the parable of the soils that Jesus told. When the good seed falls on the road, the “birds of the air” (i.e. demonic beings) come and snatch it up. (See Luke 8:12) The roadway is where all the “traffic happens” in our hearts…so many voices, so many decisions, so many challenges, so many distractions and so much hardness can result! I allowed the “traffic” of various disappointments in life to harden my heart, which caused me to feel hopeless about receiving temporal promises and blessings from God. I made work and ministry harder than it needed to be as I would double and re-double my efforts to make sure bad things would not occur. It was a lack of hope and trust in God’s good intention to provide for and bless me with all that I need to thrive in life.
Four Steps to Healing the Fissures – From Hopelessness to Hope
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Negative strongholds or “fissures” within the human heart are a complex set of distorted images, false beliefs, negative thoughts and emotions, wrong inner vows and overused strengths we experience or employ, when left to our own devices, to try to cope with the pains and of life and the shame we encounter as a result. Without the help and intervention of the Holy Spirit, these kinds of strongholds will inevitably become embedded in our souls. Sometimes they have been with us for so long, we think they are just a part of who we are. When the Spirit of God helps us locate them, we see how we have lost hope in God’s promises to us in those particular areas of our lives.
But Jesus Christ our Lord is committed to overthrowing these negative forces and displacing them with hope and faith and love that go to the core of our being and transform us from the inside out. And the more we understand this battle to heal the heart, the more we will learn to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and expedite the process.
Through the series of lightning bolt dreams, the Lord showed me four hopeful steps…divine solutions…that we can take to welcome the healing of the brokenness in our hearts. These steps are four of the golden keys that hope reformers will utilize to help unlock others who are also called to be hope reformers from various kinds of prisons that have hindered their advancement in the purposes of God for their lives.
1) Open the book of our heart to His eyes.
God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I cleaned up my act,
he gave me a fresh start.
Indeed, I’ve kept alert to God’s ways;
I haven’t taken God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works,
I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
and I’m watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
2 Samuel 22:21-25 The Message
The fissures of our hearts have jerked us into rehearsing a hopeless and inferior narrative about who we really are and what our lives are all about in Christ. However, God is actually telling His story through each of our lives in a unique way. This is a promise that when we have the courage to become completely vulnerable before God and “open the book” of our heart to Him (an especially meaningful image to me given the rejection I referred to), He will reframe, reinterpret and even rewrite the story of our lives through a hope-filled narrative that trumps the old hopeless and defeatist story line. He is promising to suddenly reverse the fortunes of His people and show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are inclined toward Him. (See 2 Chronicles 16:9) This is different than a self-initiated introspection that can be very counter-productive. It involves a guided-tour of our hearts by the Holy Spirit Himself. He won’t allow us to get lost on the inward journey!
2) Adopt a new hopeful view of the pains of life.
Our hope in God, in people, in the next generation, in prayer and in the cities and nations of the world will certainly be challenged by all kinds of trials, but it will also be cultivated and strengthened as He sees us through to the other side of those trials. Resistance builds muscles. Our trials will become the trails and the tales of our hope journey in Christ. (see Hebrews 12) Our temporary light afflictions are producing for us their exact opposite…an eternal weight of glory as we gain eyes to see what is unseen. (See 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NASB) Pain is not always our enemy, it’s sometimes a friend in disguise. Sometimes pain can “hurt so good”…as when athletes are in training. God can even use the challenge of demonic warfare for our good as we receive His grace to deal properly with it. (See 2 Corinthians 12: 7-9) However, because of these dynamics, God is too often accused (both subtly and overtly) by humanity of not being absolutely good. In a number of my divine visitations, He has confided in me about how this accusation grieves His great and tender heart of love. Yet still, He remains constant in His love for and kindness toward human beings. May we be counted in that number of people who overthrow this terrible lie about the nature and character of our heavenly Father!
3) Receive a healed and expanded view of God
God is good and “the good fight” of faith is essentially about holding on to our confidence in the goodness of God despite the sins, failures, imperfections and injustices of life…no matter what. “In Him is light and there is no darkness in Him at all.” (1 John 1:5) We must forcefully and consistently resist the temptation to doubt the goodness of God, especially in the face of the most evil things in this world. If we do not know down deep in our guts that God is good, we will always struggle to trust Him because we instinctively do not trust anyone we do not believe is good. God is great enough and good enough to cause all things to work together for our good.
The Holy Spirit has shown me that Jesus desires to reveal to us a specific facet of His hopeful persona that He was actually showing at those times when we were wracked by sin or injustice in the past. We overlooked or forgot His presence in those moments, but He was there nonetheless. Healing can come to our hearts, even many years later, when we ask Him to reveal to us the specific “face” He was showing at that time. Renewed hopes then flood into our hearts to displace the guilt, despair and shame that once ruled over us. God rewrites the very text of our lives. He will transform the worst events of our lives into the trophies of His grace and use them to conform us even more into the image of Jesus and make us powerful witnesses of His power and grace. This healing to the heart empowers us to help people who have been broken and torn by the pains of life.
Not only is God good, He is great, kind, merciful, powerful, gracious, brilliant, always near and compassionate. He is better than the best friend we could ever imagine having. I have found Jesus to truly be the “Wonderful Counselor” to whom Isaiah referred. (See Isaiah 9:6)
4) Receive a healed and expanded view of ourselves
We believers have generally been too focused on and conscious of the imperfections of our lives. Dealing with our sins head on is important and vital, but there is a whole other glorious side to our relationship with God that goes beyond the forgiveness of our sins…as marvelous and essential as this is. The Lord recently showed me in another dream how too many of us are spiritually stuck by living in “regret”. This is a tragic waste of our energies in light of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and what it means for us who have believed in Him! He is opposed to the “misery Christianity” that has too long dominated Christendom and contributed to the heaviness of human existence. He wants to revolutionize the lives of His people and help us walk in a hope-filled expression of our faith. (See our previous prophecy)
When we catch a glimpse of this new identity we have in Jesus Christ, we see sin to be the boring, useless and stupid thing it really is and we turn more easily away from it. This other side has to do with the rich inheritance that we share in with Jesus Christ as co-heirs. (See Romans 8:17; Ephesian 1:7,11) We need to spend much more time confessing…not our sins…but who we are in Christ according to the teachings of the apostles. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23) We must not allow our past, but rather our new identity and our destiny, to define us! We are sons and daughters of a great King and His blood is flowing in our veins. Caterpillars have butterfly DNA within them! He invites us to His table of fellowship to adore Him and inquire of His great heart. We will learn to even laugh at the evil lies about ourselves that the accuser tries to lay upon us just as God laughs at the “power brokers” on earth who rise up to oppose Him and His Christ. (See Psalm 2)
Our heavenly Father will respond and answer us as we seek to move from hopelessness to hope. We don’t deny the problems of our past, but we simply come to see how good and great He is and how great is our salvation! New avenues of intimacy with the Trinity will open to us and God will empower us to see what He is doing, hear what He is saying and effectively pray by the Holy Spirit…“as in heaven, so on earth”!
Small Things / Simple Acts by Steve Ward
Steve Ward is a board member of Deeper Waters, a good friend and he is becoming a regular contributor to our blog!
One of the much anticipated motion pictures in 2012 was The Hobbit, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Like The Lord of the Rings movies that preceded it a decade ago, The Hobbit takes place in a fictional place called Middle Earth, a land where the forces of good and evil are in great contrast and constant battle. The good-guy inhabitants of Middle Earth include men as well as elves, wizards, dwarves and hobbits.
While each of these races have their own unique characteristics, it is the hobbits who are perhaps the most interesting. Small, timid creatures, hobbits love to occupy their time eating and gardening and never think about going on great adventures. As they are half the height of a man, hobbits are sometimes referred to as “halflings”, a term that is not always used in an endearing way.
In the Hobbit, Gandalf, one of the most powerful wizards in the land, leads a team of dwarves on a journey to recover their lost kingdom. Gandalf, to the surprise of everyone, invites a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins to be a member of the team. In one of the most powerful scenes in the movie, the queen of the elves asks Gandalf why he invited the halfling to come along. Gandalf’s response:
I do not know.
Sauromon (Gandalf’s superior) believes that it is only a great power than can hold keep evil in check.
But that is not what I have found.
I have found that it is the small things.
Everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.
Simple acts of kindness and love.
Why Bilbo Baggins?
Perhaps it is because I am afraid and he gives me courage.
The stronger have a mandate to care for the weaker. Psalm 82:3 says “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.” That theme is repeated in James 1:27 “…look after orphans and widows in their distress” as well as many other places throughout the Word. The mandate is clear. I thought that I understood it.
And then 21 years ago, my wife and I became parents of a special needs daughter with severe autism. Non-verbal. Extremely limited self help skills. The simplest of tasks being enormous and sometimes insurmountable challenges. A big day for our daughter is to eat three meals, have a snack or two in between, take an afternoon nap, give a few hugs and do an activity or two that brings happiness. Actually that does not sound “half” bad, pun intended.
What began for me when our daughter was born has been and continues to be a long journey of starting to see life in an entirely different way. Sometimes I am afraid to look. And I am finding that many times when I am afraid, God uses my daughter to give me courage…
Three Eras of Prayer Posture by Mark L. Hendrickson
Mark Hendrickson, the co-founder of Dwelling Place Ministries, is one of Deeper Waters’ marvelous comrades of many years. He is a full blown hope reformer to travels the globe with his wife, Debbie, ushering in the presence of God through worship and teaching to all kinds of folks…all in a home spun user-friendly style.
In John 16:23-28 we find that Jesus describes three eras of prayer… all in the same context. Each one of these eras requires a distinctly different posture based upon our spiritual position with our Father. Recognizing these three eras gives us yet another confirmation of the Kingdom era dawning upon us. With new ‘lens’, we find that Scripture is full of these insights about our unique transition into the new era. Let’s take a look at where we have been and where we are transitioning to by reading this passage from the NIV: (I’ve highlighted the portions to focus on)
22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. 25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father.
26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
Defining the three eras and the different prayer postures
1. Prayer without Jesus (before Jesus)
a. Under the law, we were always a failure, deserving of judgment.
b. To pray was to approach a fearsome God who struck terror in the hearts of His subjects.
c. Pre-Jesus we had no ‘Advocate’.
2. Prayer through Jesus (from Jesus till present day)
a. As ‘sinners-barely-saved-by-grace’ we knew we were undeserving and hugely sin-prone
b. Our only hope was to stay close to Jesus who was our ‘ticket’ into Heaven.
c. We had an ‘Advocate’ and could pray through Him.
d. We knew that Jesus would intercede for us and protect us from the justifiable wrath of Father.
e. Even so, we were still beggars and plaintiffs hoping for a handout.
3. Prayer directly to Father, in Jesus name (in Kingdom era… when Jesus “sees us again”)
a. Now, through the revelation of Grace we’re becoming confident in Father’s love and favor.
b. We realize that He has elevated us to being seated with Jesus.
c. We realize that we are co-heirs / co-inheritors and co-rulers with Jesus.
d. Humbly, but with great confidence we go straight to the Father, just like our elder brother, Jesus.
Let’s read the same passage in the Amplified Version now:
22 So for the present you are also in sorrow (in distress and depressed); but I will see you again and [then] your hearts will rejoice, and no one can take from you your joy (gladness, delight). 23 And when that time comes, you will ask nothing of Me [you will need to ask Me no questions]. I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that My Father will grant you whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I Am].
24 Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as presenting all that I Am]; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete. 25 I have told you these things in parables (veiled language, allegories, dark sayings); the hour is now coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures of speech, but I shall tell you about the Father in plain words and openly (without reserve).
26 At that time you will ask (pray) in My Name; and I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf [for it will be unnecessary]. 27 For the Father Himself [tenderly] loves you because you have loved Me and have believed that I came out from the Father. 28 I came out from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.
And just for fun, let’s try the MEV (Mark’s Expanded Version)
Vs 22-23 – When I appear to you again, you will become so permanently happy that you will forget any sadness and grief… you will forget your ache of longing for the ‘more’ that you knew was available. When I appear to you in my glory, you will also appear with me in that same glory (Col 3:4) and never again will you feel the need to ask me anything, for your heart will have unspeakable joy and unshakable confidence in the favor of my Father who will delight to answer you every time you pray in my name. Of course, you will never question that it was my love for you and my work on the cross that afforded you this exalted place of favor… that will always be the foundation for your beloved position with Father. But in that time, you will no longer even think of coming through me to the Father, for you will see yourself has also having all of my position of favor with Father… you will approach Him even as I approach Him.
Vs 24-25 – Up to now (33 AD) you were under the Law and you didn’t have me as your Advocate to present you and your petitions to the Father. But at this time (33 AD and beyond) I say, please ask of me that your joy may be made full… that the heaviness of the Law would be superseded by the delight of having access through me to the Father. Right now, I am using veiled language because you don’t have sufficient ability to handle the full understanding and favor that will be revealed to you someday. But I am eager for the day when I will speak to you plainly, unveiled and face to face. Then I will tell you every detail of my Father’s thoughts, perspectives and affections for you.
Vs 26-28 – In the day when I see you again, you will come to the Father with exactly the same confidence as I come to the Father. In fact, as you realize that I am in you (Christ in you, the hope of glory – Col 1:27) you will come even AS ME to the Father. With this higher revelation of who you are in my Father’s eyes, I will not even attempt to be your ‘go-between’, for you will need no ‘go-between’. In that day you will be shocked to understand who you really are and how incredibly good your favored position is with my Father. You will realize how much He loves you… all because you believed me and have learned to love me as your closest friend and brother. I came from our wonderful Father and have walked among you now for 33 years, but for this next interim (the Church age) you will ask the Father through me that your joy may be made full. I leave you now and go back to my Father.
The Grace message and it’s inherent impact on us elevates us from beggarly plaintiffs to confident sons and kings. Here we understand and have experiential reality in the rich favor of our Father. Obviously, we do nothing apart from Him, but our secure position in His love launches us into unimaginable experience and exploits of rulership with Jesus over the kingdoms of this earth and beyond. And lest we think this is too grandiose and lofty, consider this:
Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the saints of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him. This is the end of the matter. – Dan 7:27-28
Obviously, we have much to learn about our amazing favored status with Father God. Yes, pride is a possibility on this journey into God’s favor, but even more of a possibility, is false humility (which is just another form of pride). You see if we don’t allow God’s Word to wash and free us from our sin consciousness, we will always be tethered to beggar type praying.
So I offer this ‘homework’: For one week, try praying only confident, kingly prayers of declaration and proclamation of God’s will and heart into your life situations. First, ask Father what His heart is on the matter, then begin to prophesy and release His life into the matter… like kings do.
Published also at: http://wp.me/p23r7p-ap
Join Bob Hartley, Michael Sullivant and Kevin Mangold in Washington D.C. May 3-5
High Hopes by Steve Ward
Steve Ward is a board member of Deeper Waters and a regular contributor to our blog.
I have this thing about heights. As in I don’t like them. Which made my childhood dream of being an astronaut more than a little challenging.
Actually it is much more complicated than just a fear of heights. It’s an inconsistency application of that fear. I’m not a frequent flyer but flying has never bothered me. I have been to the top of some of the larger skyscrapers and monuments in North America and that did not bother me either. I have parasailed – a blast – and parachuted – piece of cake. I have been on a long mountain hikes and loved every minute. None of these bothered me at all.
But get me 10 feet up on a ladder to clean out my gutters and I am a wreck. Paralyzing fear sets in as I cling to the ladder, certain that permanent injury or death is imminent. I was never good at climbing trees as a kid. I don’t like painting the walls of the staircase in our house. I don’t even like changing light bulbs if I have to stand on a chair. In those situations I am definitely a land lover.
Once I went on a men’s retreat in Colorado and did one of those ropes courses that had about 8 stations of various difficulty and challenges. The first one was only 15 feet off the ground and it took all the courage that I could muster and what seemed like half the afternoon just to walk across the beam even with a safety rope on. Later, we were on a zip line where we flew through the trees probably 80 feet above the ground and I loved it. Go figure.
Hope can be a lot like my inconsistent fear of heights. I have areas in my life where my hopes and dreams seldom waver – I trust the Lord and as a result the glass is always at least half full and even overflowing. And I have other areas where hope wavers far too easily. Why is it hard to trust? Is there is even a glass?
Paul wrote of Abraham in Romans 4:18, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed.” There is music in the verse – you can hear Hope ringing in the air, like when the hero rides in at the critical part of the movie to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat, winning the battle and saving the princess. Some days you easily hear the music, some days you have to press on in hope, knowing that the music will come.
In Psalm 27:14, David said “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living”. David was not scared of heights in his Hope. And that’s the Hope that does not disappoint that we need to fly in each day…