Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Freedom!
Good morning sweet friends, Yesterday, we started this pursuit to freedom. I mentioned the areas that often hinder our freedom, those obvious and those not so obvious, and I would be remissed if I didn't stop to speak of hindering the movement of the Spirit as our greatest obstacle to freedom.....a key to the full life.
This little verse is tucked away in some of my favorite words of scripture...when we turn, He removes the veil. The Spirit comes and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. And then with unveiled faces we radiate His glory! 2 Corinthians 3:16-18
When Moses came down from encountering God off of Mt Sinai, he radiated. He radiated in such a way that it caused the people to fear what they could not explain or comprehend; as a result, they called for his veiling in their presence. They caused a separation between God and His people. Like so many of us, we fear what we do not know, just as the Israelites did, and so instead of seeking what others are experiencing, we settle for a book. A great book indeed, but not to overshadow the relationship with the One.....but rather lead us to it! We settle for reading of the God of the past, instead of believing in the GREAT I AM!
I confess that I was once one of the most tightly bound-to-religion Christians that was completely closed off to the movement of the Spirit; I did not understand it and it made me uncomfortable, and I was certainly resistant. Heaven forbid someone raise their hands in my presence, it made me so uneasy! And then there came a time when I desperately wanted to know why one would lift their hands without care of the room full of judgmental onlookers? What does it feel like? Is there something I am missing? And then I went to Colorado to a retreat where I felt safe, because I knew no one (of course), and I made the decision that I would allow the Spirit to move in me, and I would not quench it. And when the words came....holy, holy, holy, I could not resist lifting my hands in agreement...or reaching for something more...or just freedom???? Holy, Holy, Holy took hold and untangled my bound up heart. I didn't know why exactly, but I will never forget how it made me feel......FREE! Free to say that I am more concerned about praising Him and giving Him every ounce of glory than making my neighbor comfortable. Free to know that I finally have conquered the need for peer approval, because it is now overshadowed by His. Free!
I left that mountain claiming to walk in the Spirit ever more....I would allow the Spirit to move me to tears or to joy or to lifting of my hands to worship. I would allow it to lead me to pray over those in need, even if it were in Walmart. I would not hinder the desire to lay hands on the sick and boldly proclaim healing as the Word prescribed. I would choose not to quench the spirit! It is His word!
Do not quench the Holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19
He says where the Spirit of the Lord, is there is freedom, but too many of us are quenching the Spirit that brings the freedom we so desire! I can not tell you the number of those who criticize the movement that is happening everywhere right now, and it breaks my heart. There was a time you didn't walk in a church with people in pure worship, and today you can hardly find a church without at least a few that have made the stand for FREEDOM! And so sadly, some of have left churches for the pure reason that the lifting of hands makes them uncomfortable, and I charge you to read the beautiful words of Psalm 63 that says with singling lips and lifted hands we praise Him, and we are then filled to the marrow with fullness like we have dined at a feast!
The movement of the Spirit is not only encouraged in the Word, but it is a vital part of us experiencing the taste of heaven on this earth. When we enter praise and worship, His kingdom comes upon us..... I inhabit the praises of my people!
Sweet friends, I am certainly not calling you to fill a requirement to lift your hands in worship, but I am calling you to allow the Spirit to move you to a freedom that is not hindered by your social status or peers. And certainly don't leave a church, because the Spirit is moving and you are uncomfortable, but seek God asking for the desire to partake in His movement. It is friction, don't forget, that births a pearl. Perhaps, you are uncomfortable, because He needs to get you uncomfortable, so that you will seek MORE?
Are you quenching the Spirit? Dare to commit this day to allow the Spirit to be ignited in your life in a way that it moves you to Freedom!
In His Wings,