When Heaven Invades Earth

I was recently reading this book by Bill Johnson for the night class I’m attending (virtually these days) through church. As an assignment for the class we had to write a short reflection on the book and I mentioned this in a previous post. Today I wanted to go back and reread what I had said in the reflection; partly because I know that there were some things I planned to act on after writing it and I wanted to make sure that I’m doing this. I thought while I was going back over it I’d share it here to let you guys in on some of my recent thoughts about faith. Please feel free to leave questions or comments but be gentle – a lot of this is stuff that’s still pretty raw for me and I’m still processing and working through. I’m not at the end of this journey yet – maybe I never will be. So without further ado – here it is:

Reflection on When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson

On reading this book there were so many things that stood out for me; things that I want to be able to put into practise.  For the purposes of this reflection I’ve narrowed these down to four main themes that I felt were particularly powerful for me (in no particular order) – power, presence, testimony and superior reality.

Power

The first theme I want to look at is power.  I realise that my appetite for the impossible has shrunk over the years and that I have not been expecting miracles to happen in or through me.  Although I knew that anyone could access the prophetic, I was guilty of believing it was not my gift and therefore neglecting the prophetic. I have buried the gifts I was aware that I had out of fear of man or fear of being wrong.  I feel like my Christianity has been a compromise – there has been little supernatural power involved and little impact for the Kingdom.

Reading this book has given me an increased desire to see this change.  As it states in Chapter 11 “to re-present Him without power is a major shortcoming.” I want to display the power of God in and through my life so that the people I come into contact with get a true representation of Jesus. I realise that to do this I will have to be bold and take risks but in doing this I will become dangerous to the enemy.  In Chapter 3 we see that “Hidden sin…has kept us from the purity that breeds boldness and great faith.” I want boldness and great faith so I’m going to look to God to expose any hidden sin in my life so that I can be pure.  I intend to pray specifically about diseases that I want to see God heal through me and for the boldness to be obedient and the tenacity to keep on doing it even if I don’t see results straight away.

Presence

The second theme I felt was significant is the presence of God.  I feel that there have been seasons in my walk with God that I have been intimate with Him but I know that there is more.  I have been guilty of striving and being led by my intellect rather than living out of a place of rest and allowing Him to lead me.  I feel that I have also allowed others to influence my life more than I should have rather than listening to God. I know that my hunger and my passion for God is not what it has been in the past and I want that back.

I am already starting to spend more of my quiet time worshipping and developing intimacy with God. I am realising increasingly that what I need is His presence more than anything else and I want that continual anointing.  I want to feel His manifested presence as I walk with Him minute by minute.  I want a deeper encounter with the Trinity and to live completely surrendered to God.  I am praying for a hunger for the presence of the Spirit of God in my life so that I will be changed and humbled and He will be glorified. 

Testimony

Chapter 2 states that “When we are silent, we have chosen to keep those who would hear away from eternal life.”  This was a bit of a wake-up call for me.  I am often silent – about many things – and I have not been particularly vocal about my faith; in particular I have not been evangelistic.  I don’t want to limit other people’s opportunities to come to Jesus.  I have also listened to scepticism about the miraculous and allowed myself to be swayed towards unbelief.  I know that I have also believed lies about the value of what I have to say.

I am praying that I will conquer and be released from whatever it is that stops me from boldly speaking out.  I have already begun to declare the truth of what God says, out loud, every day and will continue to do this.  I also intend to make a point of reading and watching more testimonies about what God is doing to feed myself and increase my expectation and desire for the supernatural.  I know that God’s natural realm is the supernatural and what He has done before He will do again.  I am declaring that when I speak people will come to know Him.  I will continue to listen to God so that my faith is increased.  I want to speak out the message of the Kingdom and see that backed up with His power.

Superior Reality

For many years in my Christian walk I have lost sight of the superior reality of the kingdom and focused too much on the ‘natural’.  Like many Christians I have prayed for people who have not received healing and that has led to a fear of appearing to live in denial.  I think I have been guilty of focusing more on my inability than on His ability and I realise that I need my mind to be transformed.

I now understand that there is reality and a superior reality.  The reminder that Jesus lived as a man and could do nothing in himself, that He performed miracles and signs and wonders in right relationship to God made me acknowledge that as a Christian I should be doing this too. I want to live a life of ‘history-changing significance’.  I repent of my wrong thinking and surrender completely to God’s rule.  I am choosing to agree with God and stop partnering with what appears to be the truth in the natural.  I will ask God to open my eyes so that I will be more aware of the superior reality of the mysteries of His Kingdom.

In conclusion I want to stop living as a ‘good person’ and instead live as a citizen of heaven on earth.  I want to insist on a supernatural lifestyle that truly allows the world to encounter Christ.  I abandon my heart completely to Him and I am praying for a faith that brings the reality of heaven to earth.  I want a faith that knows God will do it when I pray for healing.  I want to discover who God truly is and put aside the religious misconceptions I have had which affect my faith. I want to take up the authority He has given me and move in that. I want to have a faith that “moves heaven, so that heaven will move earth.”

Reflections on 2018

2018 Reflections

What a year it’s been.  Without a doubt the most challenging of my life so far.  There have been ups and downs but definitely more downs.  There has been struggle and loss and periods of calm in the storms.  You’ve been through a lot of that with me – thank you for that.  You know even though it’s been so hard and I’ve made mistakes I’m not sure which bits I would change.  Sometimes I think God uses the really tough stuff in our lives to prepare us and change us into what he needs us to be.  I was reflecting the other day on what I had learned and what I was grateful for even in all the difficulties.

Some things I have learned:

  • It’s okay to be me – in fact it’s better to be me than to wear a mask – even though it’s sometimes the more difficult option.
  • There are some genuinely loving and non-judgemental people in the world (and in the church).
  • Asking questions and taking an interest makes people feel loved and special (sounds obvious huh?).
  • I can be brave and step out of my comfort zone.
  • Writing – this blog and other things – really helps me process.

Some things I am grateful for:

  • My two amazing kids who somehow are still strong in their faith and confident in themselves and kind and thoughtful and loving.
  • That my Papa never ever leaves me and that He carries me through even the most difficult times.
  • My friends and family members who have stuck with me through all the ups and downs and who genuinely want what’s best for me without an agenda.
  • God loves me just because I’m His kid and not because of anything I did or didn’t do.
  • I’m still here and getting stronger.

It would be very convenient if I could say that all the challenges of this year were neatly tied up and the struggles were over ready to start the new year with a clean slate but that’s not the reality.  Really January 1st is just another day.  There are still struggles and challenges to overcome and difficulties to deal with.  One thing is certain though – Papa will be right beside me in it all.  He’s always there, carrying me through.

As this new year comes in what I’m working on is shifting my focus.  Trying to stop thinking about my own struggles so much and instead thinking about how I can be a blessing and an encouragement to others.  I’m pretty sure I will need reminded of this as it can be easy to slip back into overthinking and maybe even self-pity.  I’m thinking of making it my mission to bless as many people as I can every day.  I’m not sure what that will look like yet but I guess if I can do something to help even one person have a slightly better day that would be a good thing.

I hope and pray for all of you reading this that 2019 will be better than 2018 (whether it was a good year or not), that God will bless you and prosper you in every way, that you will have good health and love and peace and fun.  That every day will bring joy and revelations and new adventures as you journey with Papa and grow in faith and love.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!