Come to a Place of Resting and Soaring and See Where Holy Spirit Leads You!

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If you were to ask Jesus one question what would it be? 

A recent survey published in USA Today asked participants this very question. The highest percentage wants to know: “What is my purpose here?

Wouldn’t we love for God to give us a life planner dated from birth to death outlining all of our goals and destiny appointments for our God-given purpose? Or maybe even a to-do list where we could check things off as we accomplish them?

Hmmm… where’s the fun in that though? The adventure? I think if we had all the answers at our fingertips, a Mapquest route of our life so-to-speak, it would suck the life out of life. Right? Lol! 

There’s excitement in not knowing what’s around the corner. A sense of expectancy stirring inside as we approach something meaningful, something bigger than ourselves.

Jesus Encounter

Recently, I had a vision encounter with Jesus during a Sunday morning church service. Jesus took me to a place I have written about several years ago in a story I titled, “The Journey,” (see story below for reference). We were lying on mossy ground, looking up at the sky, my head resting on His arm.

There was a moment where Jesus said, “Ask me anything you want.” Immediately I sit straight up and one question after another starts spilling from my mouth, mostly about what the future holds for me and my family.

 Jesus responds by gently pulling me back down to that place of rest next to Him, settling my anxious heart. He spoke to my spirit saying, “Look up.” And He pointed to the heavens above. He showed me a big cloud, high in the sky.

He said to me, “Look how the wind, blowing as a gentle breeze, is moving and directing that cloud. That cloud is you and the wind is the Holy Spirit. As long as you stay weightless, not allowing the worries of this world to weigh you down, you will soar high like this cloud.” 

“You do not have to fret regarding where you are going. Just rest and just soar and then the Holy Spirit will direct you to where I want you to go. And when the Holy Spirit fills you, you will shower down upon the land exactly where I’ve positioned you. You will pour out what the Holy Spirit is pouring in.”

“And people will recognize that I am in the cloud. Others will begin following the cloud, just as the Israelites followed the cloud by day, and I will lead them into their promises.”

“All you have to do is rest in Me and soar!”

***

Do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span?

And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.

But if God so arrays the grass of the field, that is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith?

…But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.                                                      –Matthew 6:25-34

***

The Journey

by: Michelle Halloran

I am on an exciting journey to a thrilling destination. He’s not taking me to the destination by any luxurious method of travel like an airplane or a car. But I’m traveling by foot. He wants me to feel the terrain in the journey, to see the sights along the way, to feel the sun on my back and the elements in the air.

He’s walking with me the whole way, pointing out the flowers in the field we are passing and the deer drinking from the river brook. I may walk through the desert, but He will give me drink so I will not faint. And I may walk through rich vegetation, partaking the fruit and honey of His sweet provision.

Or I may spend days just resting in Him. His hand will be my pillow and He will take this time to whisper His love for me and I will whisper back my love for Him. He may carry me some on this journey when I can’t muster the energy to take another step.

But the journey is beautiful! The journey is exciting! The journey is a time of teaching and great revelation. The journey may be long, but it will be so fulfilling. I may just get so caught up in the journey that I forget about the destination, but He will keep my eyes forward and my feet on the path…

The path that leads me to myself and the bridegroom.

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The Makings of a Fine Wine

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Image via terlatovineyards.com

In the past several years, I’ve noticed vineyards popping up here and there throughout my lovely state of Kentucky. Now, I’m no expert, but apparently those who are have determined Kentucky’s limestone-based soil and climate are perfect for growing a wide variety of grapes. From vine to bottle, they say, a good wine starts in the field.

So, I’ve researched this a bit and discovered it’s hard work! The work of a vinedresser is endless. First of all, pruning is essential to producing good grapes. The dead canes need to be cut off in winter when the vines are dormant. You see, the dead canes will not bear fruit so they must be removed. The dead branches are then gathered and burned. This pruning process gives room for new, healthy shoots to grow which will bear fruit.

Then, through the growing season, the vinedresser trains the branches. Gently, he combs the branches, untwisting them and positioning them so they have optimum exposure to the sun. The leaves blocking the sun from the berries must be thinned. Clusters that will never ripen evenly need to be broken off. Why? Because they only steal the life of the vine from the good clusters. In addition, the vinedresser cuts away excess showy foliage to concentrate the life of the vine into the best berries that will make the finest quality of wine.

You see, pruning goes on for the life of the vine.

Also I discovered, best wine is produced with a little bit of stress on the vine. Grapes are the only crop that need to be stressed to enhance the flavor. When a good vinedresser waters his vineyard, he pours water just beyond the reach of the roots so they stretch and and grow deep in search of the water.

Essentially, the fruit is richer and the wine is full of character and grace when the vine is stressed enough to produce deep roots, the shoots are pruned, and the clusters are thinned.

Learning these vital details about tending a vineyard make Jesus’ parable about the vine and the branches come alive. Look at this with me. John 15:1-2, 5-6 says,

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit… I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned…

Jesus says it right here – in order for us to bear fruit, we must be pruned. The Holy Spirit reveals to us what needs to be cut off in our lives. You know that feeling you get when you know you’ve sinned. That’s the Holy Spirit leading us to repentance. And true repentance cuts that branch of sin off our lives.

Furthermore, it’s God the Vinedresser who trains us and places us in the best position in order that Jesus is glorified in our lives. He thins our showy foliage, which is our flesh (i.e., our own agendas, pride, self-righteousness), so that we will see more of the Son and so that the Son may be seen in and through us.

Lastly, it’s the stresses of this life that help us realize our need for a Savior. These cause us to dig deep in search of the Living Water. Producing deep roots of faith. Then we become firmly established in Jesus Christ and our fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control) is full of character and grace.

Just like a fine wine.