HEARING FROM GOD

lake 1It’s been officially two months since I last blogged.  I started typing several times, but just couldn’t seem to complete a submission.  Writing for me is not as simple as putting thoughts on paper.  Oh no…it gets really serious at the writing desk, because I want to produce good content and substance.  It is important to me that what I say touch the lives of the reader.  I want you to feel what I felt during my experiences, or at least, somehow relate to what I’m sharing.  So please know that I take this writing thing very serious.  I don’t know what other bloggers do, but I have to read my writings at least five times before I hit publish.  I kid you not!!!  And let’s not even talk about, coming up with a title.  OMG…It gets real ugly sometimes at the writing table!  LOL…

Now that I’ve gotten all that out the way, let’s get to the real content…

On my last blog, I shared with you that I was feeling an uncomfortable tug from the Holy Spirit, requiring more from me.  I gave a good description of what I was feeling, which is the reason I decided to go on a mini sabbatical retreat, and that’s where we left off, so because you are like my best friends, I felt that it would only be fair, that I share my experience with you.  I mean…who goes on away, and not share the details, right?

So here goes…

The day of arrival was pretty normal.  The only thing I did was unpack, eat and chill, before turning into bed.  I woke up around 2 AM and began to pray for every member in my church, as well as my family.  There were some things that were heavy on my heart, and I allowed the Holy Spirit to pray.  I am learning to take full advantage of allowing the Holy Spirit to search the deep places of my heart and pray for what I can’t or know how to put into words.

With the help of the Holy Spirit, I released those people and situations, fully to God.  It was there, in that moment that I found, to fully release something or someone, goes deeper than just saying it.  A full release takes your full soul (mind, will and emotions (another blog, for another day)). 

After a small nap, I arose and began to seek God for what He wanted from me.  As I was bathing, songs that spoke of surrendering, flooded my soul.  As I began to sing the words, “I surrender all.  I surrender all.  All to thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.” I knew exactly what God wanted from me. 

It’s amazing how ONE word can have such a meaning.  Surrender- to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield.  This means that I am relinquishing all rights to myself.  I don’t know about y’all, but that’s SCARY to me!  Like really…I’m giving away all my rights.  This is deeper than singing a song or preaching a word.  This is my WHOLE life!  Did y’all hear me…MY WHOLE LIFE!  Yesssss Ladies…this thing is serious for me!

lake 2Anyhoo…back to my day.  After breakfast, I spent some time by the waters.  I talked with God and attempted to read, but the peace was so beautiful, that I just sat, soaking it all in.  After lunch, I spent the remainder of the day, watching a T.D. Jakes sermon series, “Seeds of Greatness” that I took with me.  Although I’ve had it for a couple of years, I hadn’t taken the time to watch the full series.  Thinking back on it now, it probably wasn’t meant for me to listen to it, until this moment.  On this day, it was like rhema!  It was speaking directly to me, for this season.  I knew I had heard from God, and I was clear on what He needed and wanted from me. 

Now the funny thing about this was– I went there expecting God to shonuff speak to me.  I had a clean notebook and everything, however, He only gave me one word, but that one word, has so much meat and so much meaning.  I’ve learned– one word from God, can have more meaning, than 1,000 words from man.  So don’t disregard small talk coming from God.

Well, I was at the end of my little getaway, and although short, I got what I needed.  After my final night of rest, I returned home with a new mindset, for life and for ministry.  I know that I must surrender, for it is there, God will do great things and get His glory! 

This word —SURRENDER, has become my theme for the year!  When I find myself struggling with a situation, I remember to surrender.  When I find myself wanting to give up, I remember to surrender.  When I find myself trying to hold onto things and people, God is moving out of my life, I remember to surrender.  When I find myself afraid of moving forward or up against something that seems too big for me, I remember to surrender. 

2018 is my year of surrender!  What about you?

Blessings,

Pastor Clarissa

WHAT MORE CAN I GIVE

empty cupHave you ever felt like the Lord wanted more from you, but you didn’t have more to give?  Like…where is the “more” going to come from?  For me, I often feel overwhelmed as it is, and yet, He wants more!

I have been pastoring for three years, and within that time, I have attempted to do all that I felt God wanted me to do, along with be a mom, a wife and a friend to people who depend on me greatly, and I just don’t have any more to give at this moment.  No matter how much I say this, it doesn’t seem like God is listening to me.  No matter how hard I try to resist and ignore this pull, the tugs continue to get stronger and stronger.  Don’t get me wrong…I know He is stronger than I am, but I still find myself holding onto the rope of “His will versus my will” and not fully surrendering.  Maybe a part of me doesn’t know how to fully surrender at this new place.  I mean…what does that look like really? 

I vision myself holding onto this rope.  I see me on one end and God on the other.  He’s pulling one way and I’m pulling the opposite way.  It looks like we’re in a game of tug-of-war, trying to prove who’s stronger.   Again, I know He’s stronger than I am.  My strength is no match against His, yet, at certain times, I find myself wrestling with God, as Jacob did in the book of Genesis, chapter 32.  In these moments, I find myself not wanting to give in to God fully.  Like really… I don’t have any more to give!  I’m almost on E!  I’m tired and overwhelmed, and sometimes, if I can be honest, I’m a little weary!    Nevertheless, no matter how much I resist the tugs and pulls, He doesn’t stop calling.  He doesn’t let me rest.  He will not give up! 

What I’ve found to be true is—the Holy Spirit is very persistent in His work!  He does not give up easily, because His desire is to accomplish the purpose of the Father through us.  That is why He keeps calling us!  That is why He won’t let us rest!  That is why He makes us uncomfortable!  That is why He keeps tugging at our hearts!  (Hands lifted in a praise of thanks!)

He’s saying to me (and maybe to you)… “I know you’re tired, but I want to fill you with MORE!  I have MORE to say, MORE to show you, MORE to give you, MORE to do in you and through you, MORE to do for you!  Come to me those of you who are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest, but in the rest, I will restore, revive and refill you with MORE!  It is after I fill you with MORE, that you will have MORE to give!  Let me fill you up!”

Sometimes we don’t give in right away.  Sometimes it takes us months, and even years.  Sometimes we are like Jonah, and run first, but the Spirit of God is still at work; yet calling, yet pulling and tugging at our hearts, until we eventually give in.

As I give in, to the tugs (the drawing of The Holy Spirit), I allow myself to slowly be pulled in His direction!  I’m not sure what’s next, but I know, in order for me to accomplish all that He is requiring of me, I NEED MORE!  More of Him and less of me!  More of His guidance!  More of His anointing!  More of His power!  More understanding!  More clarity!  I NEED MORE!  Anybody else?

As I prepare to release this blog, I have made plans (with permission/agreement from my husband) to take a mini spiritual sabbatical retreat.  I’m removing myself for a couple of days, to unplug from everyone and everything (almost), just to focus on and spend time with God, for restoration, revival and direction for the church and ME!  I’m going to allow Him to fill me up with MORE!  I want to encourage you ladies, to start taking some dedicated time, just to seek God!  It doesn’t have to be a week or a month, but whatever time you can find, to go away, unplug and withdraw (separate and remove yourself) from others, so that you can withdraw (pull from or take away, in order to add something of value) from God!

Heavenly Father, I thank you for allowing me to share with my sisters today.  I pray the words that they have read, have been a real blessing to them in this season.  I pray for every woman who may find themselves in a tug-of-war challenge with you, because of the overwhelming weight of the call and assignments on their life.  May we recognize when you are calling us to MORE, to give us MORE, and may we always be responsive and receptive and surrender!  Thank you for being patient with us when we don’t respond correctly, yet continuing to be persistent in your work within us.  Thank you for not giving up on us.  I pray for every woman who is running on empty, and may be weary.  I pray she surrender to the pulls and tugs that she fill, so that you may fill her up with MORE!  Give us more God!  We want more!  More of you and all that you have for us!  We receive it now, in Jesus Name!  Amen

Blessings,

Pastor Clarissa