Hi, Denise Cook-Godfrey here…God wants to do new things for you in this new year. According to the Jewish calendar, we have entered into a new year. God not only wants to do new things but unusual things. He also wants us to understand our spiritual “times”. Our times are definitely in His hands. I am prophesying a suddenly and a springing forth of new things and also a springing forth of things that were spoken and declared in previous years!
Now, enjoy the place of His presence. He wants to hide you in His secret place. REJOICE IN HIM!
“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?
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!
Do the circumstances of your life seem to be spinning way out of control? Chaos, darkness, loss of peace, confusion, etc.? Well it’s no secret. Life is filled with overwhelming challenges! I call it “raw” life! Take heart though, think of El Elyon (the Most High God). This is one of the Names of God that comes to mind when I visually see the tidal wave of chaotic things in my life right now. This Name describes that part of God that is in total control of this universe! He is the Almighty Creator and nothing or no one can take Him by storm! God is in control and will perform His word in your life. Rest in Him!
This morning upon waking and snoozing and waking again, and dreaming and awakening again, I began to think of all the overwhelming responsibilities and activities on my plate. Immediately the Holy Spirit interrupted my thoughts with a portion of this scripture from Proverbs 16:3:
Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.
I soon got out of bed and read this verse over and over and began to declare and decree the success of every plan because I intentionally committed my works to God’s Hand. I also asked that He grace me to know His will and timing. This is a true recipe for success in all that we are doing and plan to do for the Kingdom of God. It is easy to get overwhelmed but when we take the time to trust God to keep His word after we have truly given these works over to Him, we can make it. We do not have to be swamped and overwhelmed. But how? This is the famous question that I often ask the Holy Spirit when He tells me something. I realize that the answer most times is a progressive learning process. In order for our plans in ministry or any other area to succeed, we have got to cast our cares (worries and anxieties) on the Lord as well as believe that God is working alongside us. We do this through meditation, prayer, and worship on a daily basis. We keep our mind renewed so that the activity itself will not drain us and take our joy!
Thanks for reading. Remember to enjoy your journey. Roll those works on the Lord and keep your mind free from the clutter of worry, doubt, fear, and any other hindering thoughts from the enemy.