Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Stevens Criswell
My heart pounds with a new beat - unknowingly I had a "heart of stone" and it has been replaced so lovingly by the Holy Spirit with a "heart of flesh" - today on March 19, 2015 I got another heart transplant from The Father's heart.
You may be asking, "What happened?" My only answer is, "Subtle happenings of self that unknowingly ruled my heart instead of God's strategies."
It started this morning while reading Psalm 24 and reading about The King of Glory Who wants to enter in through the ancient gates - the ancient doors - the "passage ways of old" where strongholds were allowed to be built and where the enemies have been able to hide and then when the enemies surface from these strongholds...torment, torture and destruction manifest. Yet the King of Glory desires to enter in to my mind where those strongholds were built and He desires to show us the foundations of those strongholds and where it's weaknesses are so they can be uprooted and torn down altogether and demolished forevermore.
Meanwhile as I read Psalm 24, the following caught my heart's eye, "ONLY those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. THEY will receive the Lord's blessing and have right standing with God their Savior. THEY alone may enter God's presence and worship the God of Israel. Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of Glory? The Lord, Strong and Mighty, the Lord, invincible in battle. Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The Lord Almighty - He is the King of Glory."
Meditating on these passages, I saw a glimpse of God's overwhelming power that through Jesus Who entered multiple dimensions of time through the ancient gates and ancient doors of my life and the generations before, He opened up to you and I what was intended for the "THEY's" and "ONLY's". I was then reminded of Ephesians 5 as Jesus presents to HIMSELF, us the church in all our glory, having no spot or wrinkle - we are presented before Him as blameless and pure and in right standing with Him...He did His part for us and now it's up to us, His bride, to partner with what He has already done; believing what He has done as we have been encountered by the overwhelming LOVE encounter with Him to reveal to others how the King of Glory wants to enter in - as we being the bride reveals His name we have taken on as our own - the Name of Jesus.
I was blown away yet again by this REVOLTING LOVE - ENDLESS, ETERNAL, PURE AND HOLY WHICH CAUSES PARADIGM SHIFTS in my heart and soul - and then here are the series of questions the Holy Spirit whispered into my heart:
- "As you pray, will you present them to me as blameless and holy?" "Teresa, I Am not asking you to present them with your own understanding - but MINE." I was astounded and then it was as though I heard,
- "I am fully aware of those you present to me as unclean - but daughter, are you fully aware that I declare them as CLEAN? Will you begin to echo by that tool I have given you called, "faith" to declare over them as I have had others do on your behalf through the years?
- "Will you present them as blameless and pure?"
- "Will you declare what I have destined over them before you were ever formed in your mother's womb?"
At these questions I was wow'ed by the reminder that "without faith it is impossible to please God" - and every question I was asked by the Holy Spirit, FAITH must be present in these prayers/declarations.
Then I "heard", "Will you continue to declare with a carnal mind, "But God, some are not getting it..." It was almost as soon as I said it in my heart, then it was as though I saw the gold being refined and the Teacher began to teach - "Gold refined is a process...I Am The Refiner and Teresa I am merciful during the process and when gold is refined, I ladle the dross, the imperfections with such great care and patience." Upon this understanding, I was reminded yet again that none of us have it altogether in every area of our lives - we are lovingly held by God's mercy as He is the ONE who holds us together through this journey called life and with HIS EMPOWERING GRACE He has sharpened me in different areas of my life where others may not yet be as "strong" in with His Strength - yet simultaneously those others who may not have grabbed onto God's strength like I have experienced, those same people shine with God's brilliance in another area where God has been revealed as their Strength perhaps with the ability to take risks revealing faith where I still have much doubt - or I am led to think about those living the life without a husband and raising children clinging to God as husband and father as fear constantly whispers in their ears...yet they keep going and they press through. I am in awe, astounded and taken back by this perspective which brings me to the place of humility in Him yet again.
This leads me to those moments when the Holy Spirit requires some of us to "fast" sleep...well in those moments is when I can become afraid I will fall asleep. Recently when this happened, the Lord was able to speak into my heart...it was as though I heard, "Don't be afraid to fall asleep - be more concerned with "falling asleep to my LOVE" that is in you toward yourself and others - for it is I Who is Love that you have freely received; now freely give. Teresa, when I intercede to my Father - I am interceding according to the Will of Him Who sent Me. How I intercede is your example of what you must imitate and do on other people's behalf. Do not fall asleep and be "entranced" by Satan and his accusations toward others as you call it prayer...this is not prayer - this is forebodings and agreements of the enemy entangled with hellish accusations - I do not call this prayer but a time set aside to meditate and curse what I have blessed. Your prayers of declarations over yourself and your circle that you love must now be expanded onto those that it is difficult in your own strength to pray for - let Me pray through you. Why? You want revival? What do you want revived? Do you want flesh and the nature of this world to be revived? Then continue with impatience toward others - especially those you may encounter more often than you'd like. Be assured Teresa, I love you and I know your heart cry is for Me to revive and awaken - but this will only be done as My Loving goodness is revealed through you...
"How will this happen?"
"Simple. I ask, will you be My sign and wonder?"
"Will you allow Me to brilliantly shine through you by allowing Me to pour out My LOVE and COMPASSION while in this intimate moment called prayer?"
Prayer is intended to align yourself with Me and that is when and only when prayer becomes the weapon of my heavenly exploits as you exploit Me...You've desired My signs and wonders - so now be the sign and wonder to those who least deserve it...even while yet sinners, allow the sign and wonder of the Father be revealed by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Does this awaken your heart as it did mine? If so, please feel free to share...would love to hear what the Lord is revealing to you.