But Lord!?

I don’t know how many times I have felt the Lord whisper something to me and I can instantly think of a few good reasons why what he is saying is not a good idea.

That happened with my homeschooling journey, one I have since nicknamed “the great homeschooling adventure”, as glory continues to cover this wild ride. I had a good many reasons why choosing to keep my kids home with me ALL. THE. TIME. seemed a little excessive.

Mary and Martha, our friends from the New Testament who were very close to Jesus, and knew him personally and loved him dearly – they went through the same thing! They believed in Jesus and in his power. In fact when their brother, Lazarus, died, the sisters were desperately heartbroken that Jesus had not been there, because they KNEW that Lazarus would have lived.

Here is what happened after Jesus arrived in town and asked to be taken to where their brother was buried.

Then Jesus, with intense emotions, came to the tomb—a cave with a stone placed over its entrance. Jesus told them, “Roll away the stone.”

Then Martha said, “But Lord, it’s been four days since he died—by now his body is already decomposing!”

Jesus looked at her and said, “Didn’t I tell you that if you will believe in me, you will see God unveil his power?”

So they rolled away the heavy stone. 

John  11:38-42a TPT

So they rolled aware the heavy stone.

They took a big, brave, bold step of faith. They made a move of radical obedience. Jesus had not laid out what he was going to do, he just extended an invitation to see God’s power at work. And in the face of potentially seeing a horrible, decomposing body and smelling disgusting smells that I can’t even begin to imagine, they said yes to seeing God’s glory, trusting that Jesus had a good plan, and they rolled away the heavy stone.

Just let that sink in.

That is like an arrow through my heart. Because I know what is coming next, but they didn’t! I can read the story with this great anticipation that Lazarus is going to come back to life, but they didn’t know that yet! 

This kind of blind obedience just gets me and shakes me up to the core. That’s a brave yes.

What’s your first step in the face of fear?

Right now I stand in front of a few tombs. Some hold dreams that I think have died, some hold people I’ve given up on, some hold potential that I’ve let go of. But Jesus calls today and says roll away the stone.

But Lord!?

Isn’t that our reaction, like Mary? But Lord!? What if I fail? What if it hurts? What if I seem foolish to the world for trying again?

But Jesus reminds us it isn’t about what we can do or what we will do. He is inviting us to see his miraculous power at work in our lives. We just need to answer the call to roll away the stone. To take the first step. To open our heart again.

Then with a loud voice Jesus shouted with authority: “Lazarus! Come out of the tomb!”

Then in front of everyone, Lazarus, who had died four days earlier, slowly hobbled out—he still had grave clothes tightly wrapped around his hands and feet and covering his face! Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and let him loose.”

John 11:43-44 TPT

Imagine the outrageous joy in that moment. A little step of faith unleashed a whole ton of miraculous power flowing through our Saviour.

In the face of unknowns, remember, he is the God who brings the dead to life. When he calls, we can say yes, and leap right into an exciting adventure with him!

Saying a brave yes right along with you,

Monica

monica2

ANOINTED to be mom

I was leading worship one Sunday and we, our whole church, felt the Holy Spirit so strongly. God did some big things in peoples lives and poured out his love on our worship team.

When we finished, I high fived my team and whispered “thanks” to Jesus for his anointing as I stepped off the stage.

That’s when I heard him whisper back.

“You know I can anoint you like that for motherhood.”

The words hung in my mind. I didn’t even answer back. I just sat their listening to my husband speak with a stunned brain, struggling to comprehend what this could mean.

“Now, it is God himself who has anointed us. And he is constantly strengthening both you and us in union with Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:21

That word “anointed”, from the Strongs concordance, means “enduing Christians with gifts from the Holy Spirit”. 

I’ve felt that “enduing” before. There are special times where we are suddenly given a gift of the Holy Spirit and it’s alive and active within us. Sometimes you can operate in these gifts at the drop of a hat, other times they flow unexpectedly. That’s how I find it when I lead worship. I expect God to show up and help me, but how he does it, how he anoints me, the gifts he suddenly gives me, could be different. One day I might prophecy, or have a word of knowledge or discernment. (You can read about the gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12)

It honestly feels weird trying to find words for anointing because it just is what is for me. I feel the Holy Spirit and he moves through me. I ask him to come and not let me do this thing on my own, and he shows up, plain and simple.

But for some reason the idea of this happening on a day to day basis, in a tangible way, with my children, seemed so foreign to me.

But that’s what he was saying. The same way I feel him and the same way I experience him when I’m ministering through speaking or leading worship, he can flow through me and anoint me for motherhood.

This changed a few perspectives in how I have viewed motherhood.

First, God wants to show up in my day to day, moment to moment with my kids and change my view of a daily grind to holy ground (as Sarah McKenzie says in her book “Teaching From Rest”).

In the same way he wants to show up in our church services and see people commit their lives to Jesus, and be transformed by his power and find and feel his presence, in that same powerful way, he wants to show up in my home as I raise, and ultimately minister to, my children.

I will answer your cry for help every time you pray,
and you will find and feel my presence
even in your time of pressure and trouble.
I will be your glorious hero and give you a feast. 


Psalm 91:15


K, let’s be real. Pressure and trouble? Those words can sum up a good many of my days with my kids, but God has said we can find AND feel his presence in the middle of it all. 

 

Second realization: I’m not expected to do this alone. Mom’s are notorious for being the self sacrificing, lay-it-all-down, martyr lingo talking, “it’s my way or the highway” tough girls. But this is not God’s way. In fact I’m encouraged to NOT do it alone.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

Proverbs 3:5-7

 

In the context of leading worship or speaking, I often feel like I don’t have what it takes and at the end of myself, in my weakness, God shows up the strongest. It’s the same with my mothering, when I pause and acknowledge that the situation is so beyond me, suddenly the Holy Spirit takes over and his strength is made perfect in my weakness.

But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 TPT

I realize I’m using the analogy of church a lot in this post and not everyone can relate to it, but this has been such a massive revelation to me personally that I have to share it for those who may understand.

When things aren’t going well in my leadership, say of worship, what do I do? I lean in to the Holy Spirit. I ask for direction. I humble myself. I acknowledge my need for him to break through. I seek his presence. I ask for his anointing – his power to flow through me and to do what only he can do!

Yes, God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything – every moment and in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do.

2 Corinthians 9:8 TPT

In a church setting we say it all the time: Wow, that person is so anointed.

What does that mean? They are talented? They have natural giftings? No, when we say that, something in our spirit is resonating with the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit that is flowing through that person and we can tell it’s so far beyond them. What is happening is not a manifestation of their own hard work, but of the grace of God flowing through them.

That is what God is saying about our mothering. He wants to anoint us for the task. He wants us to look back on a situation and see that his hands were all over it and that his power was flowing through us and supernatural wisdom and discernment was at work. He wants to stop us in our tracks and overwhelm us with grace for the moment.

I am called and commissioned to this great task. He is ready to overwhelm me with the grace that I need, every moment and in every way.

The Lord has been drumming it into me over the last number of months: Monica, stop and ask for my anointing.

A while ago I had a child freaking out in their bedroom, breaking stuff and trying to hurt me. I was beside myself trying to figure out what on earth to do. Suddenly I stopped and cried out in a whisper of anguish mixed with anger: I need this anointing you’re talking about.

As if to prove what he was saying I had supernatural discernment as to what the root of the problem was. Then with supernatural wisdom I knew the steps to walk out. And, only by way of the Holy Spirit, I handled is calmly.

I don’t remember to stop often enough. I’m still on my journey. How the phrase rings in my ears: anointed to be mom. IMG_5357

I see a picture in my mind of moms standing before the King of Kings, Jesus, and he is pouring the oil over us, as it ran over the priests of old. The anointing resting thick and heavy. The Holy Spirit making us ready for the task at hand. An anointing to be mom.

I see myself standing in the circle with my worship team, hands held out, asking the Lord to anoint us for the service. And in a flash I see myself standing my kitchen, or in my black armchair where I talk with God every morning, hands held out, asking for fresh anointing for this day.

For too long, I have not realized the power of my job. Of raising arrows. I know I’m just scratching the surface, but I am desperately pursuing a full revelation of what it means to walk daily in the powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit as mom.

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
    are children born in one’s youth.

Psalm 127:3-4

I know this is a game changer. I know that this realization that God wants to walk with me every single step is going to change the future for my children, and my children’s children, and my children’s, children’s, children. I am no longer a mom, stumbling along trying to figure out what to do. I am a warrior who raises warriors for the King of the universe and who has access to all the anointing, power and authority that is mine in Christ Jesus.

And now, because we are united to Christ, we both have equal and direct access in the realm of the Holy Spirit to come before the Father!

Ephesians 2:18

This can be yours too. Stop. Breathe. Hold out your hands. He’s closer than you think.

Ask him. Right here. Say: Father, anoint me to do this holy work. This job of raising your kids. Shaping these arrows. It’s so much harder than I could have imagined. I can’t do it. But by your Spirit I know I can. My weakness becomes a portal for your power to flow through me. Thank you that you want to help me and you’ve been just waiting for me to ask.

I’m breathing this prayer with you too. I don’t know what all this means yet, but I know one thing: I’m anointed to be mom.

In His grace,

Monica

monica2