Minister Denise Cook Godfrey is the wife of Assistant Pastor DeForest L. Godfrey. Minister Denise has devoted her life to God in true worship and desire to be used to motivate, inspire, and arouse the Body of Christ to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Minister Godfrey’s vision also involves teaching the Body of Christ to utilize the arts such as praise and worship dancing, interpretive movement and expressive signing, drama, and poetry within the local church in order to bring edification, comfort, exhortation, and deliverance. She is the mother of two children and is a loving grandmother. Minister Godfrey enjoys writing, aerobic exercising, and just spending time with her family.
“You will find Me if you search for Me with all your heart,” states Jeremiah 29:13. So the question in the heading is does God play games? This eye-catching title has to do with God seemingly playing the old hide and seek game that we used to play as children in the sweltering heat of the day many years ago. Well, of course, God does not play games like that but He does have a desire for fellowship and trust. God wants us to trust His love for us. He wants to bond with us. So, in a sense of hiding and seeking, He hides revelation so that we are thirsty and hungry enough to seek after that revelation.
The context of Jeremiah 29 is all about Israel in captivity. The word from Jeremiah in verses 11-13 speaks hope to a people who were in great despair because they disobeyed their God and began to trust in false prophecies of a sudden deliverance from their oppressors. But how does the promise of verse 13 apply to us today? This verse can apply to the backslider or anyone who desires to find a relationship with God. For those of us who have accepted Jesus as Lord, I believe it is about the search. It is actually what we learn throughout the seeking process that really counts. God knows everything but yet He does not tell us everything we need to know at once about our life situations. He wants us to ask, seek, knock on a continual basis. Why? Because He loves us and created us for Himself. As we worship and as we seek His perfect will through His word (written and rhema), we continue the bonding process. So, let the games begin.
I want the Spirit of the Lord to continue to reveal to me how to search for God! Be encouraged and be diligent in your search for God ‘s will for your life. For example, I have an upcoming dance workshop to teach during July this year. It is now May 1st; however, I have already begun to ask God which songs to use and exactly how to format the workshop. Sure, I could pick any song and format the workshop in any manner, but if I pray and seek God’s wisdom, He will eventually speak to my heart and show me exactly which songs and format will work best for who is going to be attending. I have no idea who will be there but the Holy Spirit does! So in the midst of the search, there is a voice, there is peace, there is intimacy. I gain more than just a few songs and some choreography, I gain more of His heart. Are you a seeker? Do you love to play hide and seek with the Lord?
You’ve been there! God gives a word either through speaking directly to your spirit man or through another person. The word has been confirmed and you are excited beyond excited. Your faith is stirred and you wait patiently. Finally, the day comes for the manifestation of the promise. All the signs point to it. This is it, or so you thought! Your understanding of the matter is now somewhat clouded. You begin to drown in despair. What just happened? A set back is what some call it. Hope deferred is how King Soloman described it (See Proverbs 13:12: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life). Either way, what you are experiencing in this moment of disappointment is quite common to all of us. This valley like experience has nothing to do with the great purpose and destiny that God has planned for you. It does not cancel out the promise that He made to you.
So how do you cope? Here is something that came to mind this morning as I was reading a short article from a ministry called “Streams Ministries International.” The article spoke of our learning to celebrate private victories as we wait for what God has prepared for us. I was thankful for the article, but as I pondered this more and more, here is another point that was brought to my attention: At times, we have got to embrace disappointments. Sometimes we are just not ready for what is ahead. Swallowing the bitter pill of disappointment and “hope deferred” as King Solomon put it, is really a pill that is good for the soul. No, it does not feel good, but once we endure we will come out on the other side more polished and mature and ready to face the responsibilities of the blessings that our future promotion holds for us. Until we are back on that path (because there are detours we must take on our way into our destiny), we must remain in love with the Father! We must worship as we have never worshipped before! Worshipping and continuing to declare and study God’s word during these types of seasons will sustain us and keep us grounded. Keep busy. Do for others. Follow after peace and do the things that you can for God’s Kingdom. Be satisfied with His goodness!
So…go ahead and cry, yell, ask God how you are to tread from this place and swallow that pill! Someday you will be glad that you did.
Surrender used to be one of those words that shook me somewhat as a new Christian. But I thank God that as I grow in Him, I am progressing into a life of surrendering to His will. Even now though, being totally sold out in each and every area of my life can sometimes be challenging but I thank God that I am not shaken by it as I was many years ago.
I have decided to give God a new “Yes.” What is a new “yes?” It is when I tell Him “yes” before I know the request! It is an agreement between earth and heaven! Now ponder that. Have you surrendered to the Lord with a new “yes?”
Recently I ministered in dance at a Women fellowship. I planned, prayed, and prepared for the event in the midst of numerous other responsibilities and assignments. I was ready but not ready so to speak but eager to minister. But guess what? Two hours before the event God changed the song! This was not the first time this has happened but feeling the way I was and being as preoccupied as I was it was a shock! The song was also an older song that I had not heard or danced in over five years!
Okay, I have enough history with the Lord to know that He would be with me so I stepped out in obedience. The ministry was phenomenal! As soon as the song begun, people were already filled with anticipation, weeping, and worship! I did not once have to worry about choreography, technique, or anything! As a matter of fact, I mostly interacted with the audience. God is so amazing! Regardless of your assignment, never stuff our Lord in a box and expect Him to always move in the same manner. Be ready to be stretched and watch how He moves! I could see the manifestation of God’s presence resting upon so many faces!
Worshipping in spirit and truth has more to do with a mindset, an attitude and a lifestyle more than external rituals. The reality (truth)of who the Father is causes the deepest part of who I am in Him (my spirit man) to connect!!! The deepest part of me engaging with the deepest part of Him…remember, this is what the Father is seeking! God wants relationship over religion!
When I ponder and look back over moments in dance ministry I am amazed at how the wind of the Spirit comes, goes, and shifts in multiple directions. No wonder Jesus explained to Nicodemus that the Holy Spirit’s work cannot be understood on human terms (See John 3:8)
Be sure to prepare your heart as well as your body for dance ministry. Be open to allow the Holy Spirit to move how HE wants! Sometimes we think we have it all figured out. Just trust Him when you feel Him and you see manifestations and when you don’t. Trust Him when it appears that He is moving upon other dancers and not you. Just know that if you are a surrendered vessel, He will use you and will be pleased with your sacrifice no matter what the outcome looks like in the natural! The atmosphere around you will change when you have totally surrendered your entire being into Him.
“Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them.” Exodus 25:8
God still wants to hang out with us! Are you worshipping in spirit and truth? When I calmly think of the flaming sword and the cherubim that were set up to prevent the man from entering a certain place in the garden of Eden, and the scripture above, it gives me renewed hope that I can walk and live out my desire to come boldly before His throne of grace whenever! See Hebrews 4:14-16, 10:19-23.
Be encouraged and know that you are a welcomed guest in His house!
Mentorship is one of those Biblical principles that is sometimes forgotten, especially in the area of the arts! Worship dance, praise dance, and interpretive dance can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to mentorship. If you are in a position where you need to stop and receive some guidance for the next phase of your dance ministry, please contact us. We want to partner with you in order to bring wholeness, deliverance, and encouragement to many lives!
Hello! As I meditate on where I am, where I’m going, and where i’ve been, I realize that life is all about choices! So where does worship fit into this? As a reminder, I must choose to worship God no matter how I feel or what my circumstances are. Spending time in worship is a decision that I have to make and this decision starts in my soul, where my emotions, mind, and will resides.
So the next time you’re angry, hurt, overwhelmed, etc.,make a decision to push through the natural facts and just worship! There is always something good on the other side of worship!
2019 will definitely be a year where new things will spring forth, many will walk into the path of destiny, and so many will give birth to what they have carried in the bosom of their spirit in earlier seasons. Not only has the Lord spoken this to my heart, but I have heard many other men and women of God sharing this same prophetic declaration!
While this is exciting news, I want to caution us to continue in a focused place. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is teaching us that the birthing position is a very serious one! We have to know how to endure the pain that takes place right before the baby comes forth! No worries though. For most of us, there is just one last, long hard push left! Hallelujah!
Ask Holy Spirit to grace you to know when to breathe and when to take that last push in this new season!