“We have to quit putting our opinions in the place of revelation,” my leader said over coffee. “Holy Spirit is hovering over the waters.”
It was a reference to creation in the book of Genesis when Holy Spirit hovered over the face of the deep.
The question was wether or not I would say yes to the consecration or continue holding on to what God wanted to burn up. I thought of the session of Level 3 earlier in the month where my spiritual father preached on the difference between Mary and Zacchariah’s response when they were visited by Gabriel with an invitation into the miraculous.
As I honored my leader’s voice, I felt Holy Spirit start to move at our Table of Trust (to learn more about the Table of Trust, check out Seasons of Sonship: Invitation). The conversation started moving toward painful topics that touched deep roots of pain within me. Holy Spirit was surfacing wounds of trauma and abuse and hurt from the deepest depths of my soul. I started crying as Holy Spirit touched those gaping holes that God wanted to heal.
The emotional pain was so intense that I wanted to scream and lash out. I wanted to run away. Holy Spirit was touching on all the times I had been a victim and the pain that caused. The distrust that caused. The mindsets, perspectives, and behaviors that caused.
I got caught in the swirl of victimhood. The darkness fell on me right there in the coffeeshop. I started thinking, “This pathway is too hard. The burden is too heavy. I can’t do this anymore.”
God had been hammering me for the last two years and every time I thought I had reached the endpoint – the place of breakthrough I thought would be lasting, He threw me back into the fire. I had promises of harvest and joy and freedom and healing and wealth, but in the moment all I could see was how bad my heart hurt. How hopeless and desperate I felt.
I wanted to quit. I wanted to run out of the coffee shop. I wanted to escape the pain of the moment.
My voice broke as I said, “I can’t do this anymore, but I don’t have a plan B. There’s no going back. Life before Jesus was worse than this.”
I wanted her sympathy. I wanted her to feel sorry for me. I wanted her to comfort me. I wanted out of the fire.
But instead she started swinging the sword of the spirit. I don’t know many people who can wield the Word of God as fiercely and sharply as this woman and she began punching holes in the darkness that was keeping me in bondage.
I was crying and looking at my notebook, writing what she was saying. Truth about our God. Truth about how I need to keep my eyes on God. Truth about how God was moving in my situation. Truth about how big and mighty and powerful He is.
I started getting angry. I started getting frustrated. I didn’t want to hear about how good God was, I wanted her to join me in the pit of self-pity. I wanted her to agree with me about how crappy my situation was. I wanted to argue. I wanted to talk back. I wanted to throw a tantrum.
But my spiritual father had engrained in me the art of honor and pursing the leaders at my table of trust. Of reinforcing the idea that God sent me leaders because they had what I needed to become who God created me to be. I didn’t want to, but out of sheer obedience I kept my mouth shut and endured the onslaught of truth she was wielding to the strongholds of my mind. I knew there was gold inside of her and my honor would unlock the treasury.
As I kept enduring the painful process of submission, the darkness started to lift. The more she spoke truth over me and the more I honored her voice, the more the enemy lost it’s hold over me.
The conversation moved toward an apex moment where she said, “You have to let go of the old identity. You’re not that person anymore.”
In my mind I saw this scraggly hand clutching what I knew to be the Old Nicole – the old identity that the enemy was keeping me in bondage to.
“Just let it go. That woman is dead. Why are you holding onto a dead thing?”
In my mind, I felt myself screaming, “It happened! That bad stuff happened to me! It’s still happening!”
I was clutching onto the truth of the bad things that happened to me, and God was asking me through my leader to let it go so He could release what He had for me.
With all the strength of will I had in me I felt my heart surrender.
She began to tell me testimonies of the goodness of God. I felt the enemy loosen it’s hold on me and I began to let go of the past, finger by painstaking finger. Her stories of hope and light began to fill in the empty places where the old me used to be. My expectation of darkness was replaced with an expectation of light.
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” Revelation 12:11
I felt my normal light and joy return as I embraced the testimonies and felt hope arise that God would work in my life like He had worked in hers.
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25
The meeting had been hell to endure, but looking back I saw the deconstruction of enemy’s strongholds and the construction of God’s. Once I surrendered to the process and honored what God was releasing, it felt as if she took a sledgehammer to my false identity and it shattered like glass. What was real and true and authentic was revealed beneath.
The old me had to die so I could find my new life in Him.
I left the meeting with a victory, but the enemy was angry that he had lost in the battleground of the mind, and so he brought a hellstorm on me to try to get back in. He got my mind focused on the pain I’d felt instead of the victory I’d gained. I started to slip back into the swirl.
So God sent another leader to solidify the victory – my spiritual father.
“You’re not a victim, Nicole.” The words hit like a freight train. I’d been hearing those words for years now, and believing them to the level Holy Spirit was able to convince, but this time I was operating in greater levels of honor and trust toward my leaders. “You don’t know what you look like on the other side of this.”
This time, the level of convincing was unparalleled. “You’re a world class overcomer.”
Deconstruct the lie. Rebuild the truth.
The words penetrated my spirit-man and when I got off the phone, I had a spring in my step. World-class overcomer. That’s right! That’s who I am!
I had gotten so focused on how hard the pathway was and how heavy the burdens were, that I didn’t see it from God’s perspective – I had been overcoming challenge after grueling challenge. It didn’t matter what the enemy had thrown at me, I had overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony.
When I had been in the swirl, I had been burdened by the idea that even if I get through this challenge, there’s just going to be another one. But with the truth that I was an overcomer, that’s who I was, then I thought, “What else you got devil? I’ll overcome that too!”
Confidence arises when you realize who our God is and that He has made available everything we need to overcome every challenge and every hardship. And when we can’t bear the burdens on our own, He sends people to release exactly what we need in the right moment. We stake ourselves to each other, and lift up the hands which hang down and strengthen the feeble knees.
It’s the importance of honoring the ones He sends and enduring the submission that produces breakthrough.
Since that meeting, I’ve had unparalleled levels of joy and freedom despite my external circumstances. I’ve had unparalleled levels of love and hope. I went home and entered into worship with a fiery new passion. I contended for a lasting and enduring victory.
When we praise through the storm, we cast our burdens on Him and carry His burden which is light. What is that light burden? Being in His presence. Worshipping who He is. Trusting Him to move in our situation and to release to us the strategy and grace needed to overcome.
Why worry when we can worship?
Being in His presence fills in the empty places. Being in His presence manifests all the fruits of the spirit we so desperately want in our lives. If we honor the design that God has for sonship, we open the door for God to do the miraculous. All the promises of God become available when we submit to the process of sonship.
“The Spirit of the LORD GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they might be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”