September 21, 2016Well, dearest family, I realize now that I have been missing the greatest opportunities to breakthrough to my higher calling. I've been wading through the muck of a swamp to get to the pristine waters, and it's always a wearying, long journey, by the way I've gone about it.
The good news is that the Lord is clarifying this for us, and if we obey and are consistent and diligent, we are going to see marvelous changes in our productivity for the Kingdom of Heaven each day. That includes with our family, as well.
Many of you don't need this lesson. Many of you've got it right. But I needed this lesson.
It all began when Ezekiel was under attack again, with yet another, strange malady that we couldn't diagnose. We had no idea what it was! We just knew that the Lord was allowing it as a correction, because we got God's Correction in the Bible Promise Book. And He's always faithful to show us that.
Anyway, the subject of pride came up. And I realized that somehow, we had opened the doors to Pride, and I soon found out that pride was the culprit for both of us. Ezekiel recognized his sin, but I couldn't see mine. Oh, I knew it was there, alright. I know I've got a lot of pride, and it surfaces when I lose my temper or get angry. I realize that that's complaining against God, because He allows these circumstances. And I know I've got lots of pride. I didn't know what manifestation of my pride the Lord was trying to draw my attention to.
"Create in me a clean heart, oh Lord. Let me be like you in all my ways." I kept singing that over and over again, really feeling conviction, but not being able to identify its source.
I came into prayer asking Him: Lord, I just don't understand what you mean by 'pride'? I'm blind to it just doesn't make sense. Please reveal it to me.
I realized it must be serious, because I don't see it and I think whenever pride is the worst it's invisible to us. I was a little confused and hurt, and I didn't understand.
I had a communion service, and after I received the Lord, I saw His face before me and He held my face tenderly in His hands. I was thinking of all the times when I didn't obey Him, when I had an inkling that He wanted something but I didn't obey. And I didn't ask, because I didn't want to be told 'no'. I began repenting and feeling very badly, seeing clearly that that was at least one area of pride.
As I listened for His voice, I could not believe the words that were coming from His mouth, "You honor Me with your lips, but where is your heart? You put other things before Me, Clare. Every morning I wait for you, yet there is always something more important that comes first.
"This, I want to stop. You said it yourself: watch what a person does with their time and you will see where their heart is."
This was so amazing to me, because I had noticed, when I was cleaning house and trying to get everything ship-shape so I could get into prayer - that very admonition came back to me. And it was in my mind. I thought at the time, 'Uh oh. I am not living what I'm teaching. This is NOT good.'
And the vision I'm about to relate to you also came to mind.
After He said that, I remembered the vision He gave me about how I made Him wait. He showed me a ship coming into port with the great King to see His bride - who, of course, was supposed to meet Him there. But she got restless and went shopping, looking for a new outfit. In the meantime, He came and she wasn't there.
I was that Bride. I couldn't believe I could be so disrespectful, but I realize now that I have been putting other things first - reasoning that if I get everything out of the way, I can really spend time with the Lord. But that's a deception, because you never get everything out of the way; there's always something else that demands time. And anyway, by that time, you're very tired and not your best. I realized the messages have suffered, my prayer life has suffered, the painting suffered, my music, especially, has suffered because I was so caught up in the Martha, Martha run-around. I truly was putting the world first.
Lord, what about serving my husband? You have always taught me to honor his needs, even when it is inconvenient.
And I had been taking my puppy out in the morning, because he was restless. But I can see now that he can wait. He has a free access to going outside, so that's not the issue. It's more an issue of he wants to play.
"Your house comes LAST. Floors, dishes, you name it - it comes absolutely last. Not first, Clare, not first. If you honor Me in this way, I promise you, everything else will fall into place. Ministry, painting, music... oh, my what a turn around for you! This is where your headstrong pride becomes most evident. Do away with this and I will indeed be a very happy Jesus."
Lord, am I to teach this to people with little children and responsibilities?
Gosh, I've been feeling like I needed to make this change for a long time, but I just couldn't seem to do it. One huge issue was getting up late in the morning, because I would work until 6 am. When I got up at 2 pm things were clamoring for my attention. People at the door, communicating with helpers who had normal hours, etc. etc. But now my hours are a little more sane and it could easily work. At least the first four hours devoted to prayer, the message and music.
Lord, what about playing the flute?
"And this IS Me, Clare."
And as an aside, someone sent me a flute in the mail. By the way, thank you, whoever you were - that was very much a gift from Holy Spirit. It was nice! But I also sought permission from the Lord to get a penny-whistle and an Egyptian flute, because the sounds were something I wanted to use in my music. We discerned it was the Lord and bought them from Erick the Flute maker. They are absolutely marvelous instruments made from bamboo, the one is - the Egyptian and the penny-whistle is from wood.
But you know how it is when you get something special; you get permission and you think it's okay, and then the devils start pounding you with false guilt, telling you that you should have given the money to the poor. So, there was always this false guilt in the back of my mind, and I thought, 'What if we didn't discern right?'
Oh, boy... That was the end of the false guilt!
And I've kind of been thinking I should do the full communion service with Scripture readings from the Psalms, the New Testament, the Old Testament. You know, kind of a well-rounded communion service. And I found a missal that I use, it's very nice. It's a Sunday missal from one of the liturgical churches, and it really helps. It puts all the readings together by subject. So I've been using that for my communion service.
So I asked Him: What about a full communion service with all the Scripture readings and prayers?
"This is Me! There's nothing you can do. I don't care how you feel, it is your obedience that I will bless. REMEMBER: EVEN A COMMUNION SERVICE POORLY SAID WILL STILL BRING FORTH FRUIT. I MEANT THAT. Yet none of your services need to be poorly done."
He lifted my chin, "Clare, this is Me, all of this is Me. I mean it. Me first, a communion service with readings and prayers, then the world and its doings. Please...this must be."
Yes, Lord, with your help, yes!! I'm sorry doesn't get it, nevertheless, I am very sorry.
Do you want me to teach this, Lord?
I do, Lord.
The fog started to clear from my head and everything became clear and made sense again.
Lord, just as a sign to me that this is truly You and not a demon, could you please take this fibro pain way back to a three?
Oh Lord, You know the answer to that.
And that was the end of His message.
Well, Heartdwellers, I cannot possibly stress to you the importance of what He is saying. And by the way, my fibro pain went way back to a "4". Ezekiel got up and just lit into his music and had a wonderful night of prayer and music. So, I've determined, as usual, this really is the Lord speaking to my heart.
I got up this morning and went straight into prayer. Wow. What a difference.
If you don't put Him first, you are not going to have the fruit to show for it. By the end of the day, your mind is swimming in the muck of the world. Somehow you have to stop that Ferris wheel and get off. It's really hard, but when you get up first thing in the morning and devote that time to Him, your mind is clear. You don't have to fight all the thoughts that come rushing in.
I used to do this without fail and it worked wonderfully. I'd go to bed at 8 o'clock at night and get up at four in the morning and I had a good three hours before my children woke up to do the things I needed before home schooling.
It's a matter of making up your mind what is the most important thing in your life. If it's your housework and having a clean floor and a clean sink, you're gonna wear yourself out - and what kind of story does that tell about the most important thing in your life? "The house comes first... and Jesus comes last. Your husband comes first... and Jesus comes later. Your children come first... and then the Lord."
I'm saying this to those of you who are very, very serious about having a profound relationship with God and bringing forth the fruit of that relationship. If that's what you want, you absolutely must prioritize your day to put Him first when you're awake, alert and in the stillness of uninterrupted solitude. To do it any other way shows that He is NOT the number one priority in your life.
You may have to sit your family down and explain it to them, telling them that you'll be a MUCH better mother and wife if you put God first. You are also showing them what their priority should be from the time they are little until they leave home. And if they don't follow that example, it won't be your fault.
Seek Him, dear Heartdwellers, and He will make a way for you. The Lord is going to do this for us.
God bless you all.