I walked into the building ready to dance. I set my bag down and went to my corner where I felt comfortable. I listened to the worship music being played and felt troubled. Something in the atmosphere wasn’t right to me. I fought to enter the presence of God, looking up and smiling at Jesus. It felt like distractions were clawing to keep me from actually worshipping.
I thought about my spiritual father who was on assignment to Lakeland, FL. I had been interceding and knew that God was moving there. I wanted to be where the move was, but knew that where I wanted to be and where I needed to be were two different things. Our spiritual father/forefather, Dr. Don Lynch, had invited us to be at this particular worship service. Not wanting to miss out on what God was doing, I wanted to honor his request and be in my position.
I had to dig in my heels to stay in the presence. I imagined the building in Lakeland filling up with the fire of God – oh the glory! I felt a burden to intercede for what God was doing there, and starting praying in the spirit. When I felt the release, I turned my attention back to what was happening around me.
“God, what do you want to do here? I surrender to Your will and purpose.”
I felt needy and desperate for His presence. I wanted encounter. I wanted Him to show up in Jacksonville like He was showing up in Lakeland. Without God’s presence, what was the point of being in church?
“Please, God, I need you.”
Instead of dancing, He asked me to sit and just focus on Him. As I drew near to Him, I felt Him draw near to me. Sitting on the floor, I felt His presence wrap around me. I started crying as His beauty engulfed me. Worship wrapped up and we went and sat down in our seats. A pastor stood up and spoke. His voice was so gentle and loving that I started crying some more. I felt Holy Spirit wrap around me like a blanket and touch a deep place inside me that needed comfort. When you have a heart of honor, surrender, and hunger, God will find people to feed you.
There was an altar call, and I felt Holy Spirit leading me to go stand in front of a specific couple. I pulled out my phone to record my prophetic words. They’d been lifelines through much of the darkness I’d walked through in my walk of discipleship, and I constantly warred with God’s promises to me whenever I felt like giving up.
I started crying as I received. I could feel the love of God speaking through this faithful couple, giving me hope for the future. The man released an image that struck my spirit. He said, “I see rainbows over wheat fields.”
I could see in the spirit a golden field of grain with the mark of God’s promise soaring over it. A rainbow represented covenant and God’s promises.
After service, I was talking to a friend who had recently been invited into her own walk of sonship. As I listened to her story, I was reminded of that tumultuous time where I first connected with my spiritual father and the estate of which we were a part. I’d been invited onto a pathway toward destiny and purpose and all hell broke loose in my life as the enemy tried to keep me from connecting to where God wanted me to be.
By honoring my spiritual father’s voice and the voice of Holy Spirit, I was able to get through a tumultuous transition to a place of stability and security so that I could spend the next two years healing and being restored from trauma and abuse. During that time, I was able to grow in trust and faith with my spiritual father which opened the door for deepening trust and faith with my Heavenly Father. It opened up a pathway of encounter which lead toward destiny and purpose.
I didn’t submit out of obligation, but rather found that as trust grew, the leadership of my spiritual father and Holy Spirit led me to places of freedom, healing, and breakthrough. There were always good outcomes, even if the process was painful.
I thought of some of the principles that applied to the beginning of my freedom journey:
- When I learned that at the beginning of creation, God designed me with my spiritual father in mind to lead me, I prioritized and honored his voice above every other in my life. I knew that he had access to revelation and God’s blueprint for my life that others didn’t have, because God had entrusted him with it. At times in my walk, well-meaning people gave me advice trying to help, but it didn’t always align with God’s plan for me. I found that making myself accountable to my spiritual father before making decisions gave him the opportunity to lead me back to my pathway if I wandered, or confirm revelation I was receiving from Holy Spirit. His oversight kept me safe and kept me from waste and kept me moving toward God’s destiny and purpose for my life.
- As a single person I was free to honor my spiritual father’s voice, but I learned that marriage was a higher covenant and that marriage to the wrong person could keep me from destiny. I knew that a spiritual father could provide leadership to both spouses that would help a marriage reach fullness. It showed me the value of marriage to a person who had been matured and discipled, because I wanted any leaders (especially a husband) in my life to give advice that aligned with God’s will and purpose for me. I knew the best marriages would be aligned with the leadership of a spiritual father.
- I invited God to define relationships. God loves us and wants to protect us and keep us safe. He wants us healed and free. When I started walking as a spiritual daughter, God brought people into my life that influenced me with love, kindness, truth, and joy. I found a loving tribe that embraced me as family, and I found leaders that were positioned with revelation to speak into my life to help me along my discipleship pathway. Sometimes that meant I let go of relationships with good people to get the fullness of what God wanted to make available to me. Sometimes relationships from my old life before Christ were a burden God didn’t want me to carry.
“For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)
- I invited Holy Spirit and Kingdom leadership into every area of my life. Before I got saved, I made the best decisions I could, but they often led to bad outcomes. I didn’t realize that without Holy Spirit and strong leadership in my life, the enemy was leading me into a pit of darkness. I started granting God access to my time, finances, family, work, health, etc. Holy Spirit didn’t want to run or control my life, but He did want to lead me toward decisions that would lead to good outcomes. I always had a choice to say yes or no. As I trusted Holy Spirit to lead, I saw the fruit of obedience. Obedience wasn’t a way to avoid punishment like I’d learned in an old life. Obedience was a pathway toward wellness, healing, freedom, and peace.
- I asked for wisdom and revelation from Holy Spirit and submitted to leadership to confirm what I was hearing, and if I was hearing wrong, they could correct me to protect me. It was a process to learn to hear from Holy Spirit and for my filtering system to be purified, and strongholds of the mind to be destroyed. There have been many times when I thought I was hearing from Holy Spirit and it was either my own unhealthy thought patterns or a demon leading me. Part of discipleship was learning whether thoughts were from God, me, or demons. As I submitted my life to Kingdom Culture I found more peace, freedom, life and joy than I’d every experienced. The more I surrendered my life to Jesus, the better it got. Sometimes surrender was scary, but God works all things for our good.
- I invited Holy Spirit to cleanse things from my old life that would open doors for the enemy to torment me. I was hungry for peace and freedom and wanted to discard anything that was keeping me from that. I found myself getting rid of personal items from my past, secular books and movies, and music. There were things I got rid of that weren’t necessarily sinful, but they were keeping me from the fullness of my purpose and destiny. I was hungry for the things of God and spent most of my time trying to stay in the spirit through writing, reading the Bible, worshipping, and praying. My spiritual father called this process “becoming.” When I was in the spirit, I had access to the presence of God which brought forth peace and love and joy. The more I walked out the process, the more my identity shifted to align with who God created me to be. I saw miraculous personality shifts as I was set free from depression, anxiety, trauma, and abuse.
My friend and I talked so long, that we were the last people to leave. Some people locked up behind us. We chatted some more in the parking lot. I could feel the weights she was carrying and how impossible life felt in the moment. I thought back to two years before, when my life was that dark. I got saved, and I didn’t know where I was going or what I was doing. All I knew was that I had an invitation to follow the light.
“Right now, there are a lot of things happening in your external circumstances that you can’t control. I know it’s scary, and I know it seems impossible, but the most important thing you can do right now is to look up to God. I promise He will bring you through it. Well, I don’t promise, He promises, and His promises are much better than mine. He’s got you. You’re going to make it to the other side.”
As I was talking about looking up at God, I saw the beautiful sunset glowing orange to the west.
“What’s that?!” My friend said. She sounded startled and I spun around to the east.
We looked up and saw the most vibrant rainbow I’d ever seen. As we marveled at it, the rainbow grew bigger and more vibrant. It wasn’t far off, it was up close, like a crown over the landscape where we stood. We were so overwhelmed by the beauty of this sign and wonder that worship rose out of us as we encountered God’s promises.
I grabbed my daughter out of her carseat so she could see it too. The three of us sent up shouts of child-like glee to the gift of our Creator.
We marveled for a while but it was getting late, so we said goodbye and I got my daughter buckled back in her seat. As I was pulling out of the parking space, she asked to see the rainbow one more time. I rolled the window down for her, and looked up myself, but the rainbow had disappeared.
It had been a display of beauty marking the sky just for us.