Today, in my quietness, I had quite an epiphany. For years I was giving credit to man that should have gone to God. Directly to Him. First to Him, and THEN to others. Jesus IS, and has always been my Source!
He reminded me of my earliest spiritual memory, in a little cedar-siding church on Front Street, in Farmingdale, NY where in the little vestibule Sister VanDeWater was relating to Brother Florio a vision she had about someone carrying a lantern. I don't recall what it was about, except for that Bro. Florio, a little old man with snow white hair yelled out GLORY, and it went all through me. I have never forgotten it. I was only 6 years old, but I recall that part of the scene like it was yesterday. No one can ever convince me that God did not want me in that place at that time. Maybe it means while others have “floodlights”, He has just given me a little lantern??? Well, if so....I want to be faithful to use to shed His glorious light where ever I can.
He reminded me of very significant childhood dreams that showed me things, both good and bad, that would happen in my life. Too personal to share here.
He reminded me of scenes in my childhood upon my bed at night of unhappiness in my home that made me cry out to Him for comfort. I began to really know the Lord, just as a little child because I very much needed Him. Jesus was my friend. Because of my childhood prayer life, I do not think it’s exxaggerating at all for me to say that I’ve lived in a state of inward revival even in times of spiritual famine. I have learned to recognize when it seems the Lord might be leaving, and I entreat, I BEG Him to stay. I don’t want to be without His Presence. I’d rather have God dealing with me so that I am suffering untold agonies, and know that He is close than for Him to just walk away and forget me. THAT would be hell. There is GRACE for all His dealings and disciplines. I’m not sure what I could invoke to give me comfort in His absence.
My early to mid-teen years were much absorbed with church activities, youth groups, etc....but the mixture of the world got in there and diluted my experience. Thank God for a mother who continually quoted to me scriptures about living a holy and separate life. They finally “took”, and I knew I could not ride the fence, but needed to be in the world or in the kingdom. I could not do both.
I began to become more hungry for the things of the Lord, and I made time for Him. Daily time in prayer and the Word. Time to pray, time to read and write. Just me and the Lord. He reminded me of scenes in Bible School, sprawled out in the wee hours on a class room floor crying out to Him, calling upon His Name, desiring His anointing on my life, desiring to see Him move in the Bible School I attended, eventually being joined by others of like mind and spirit. I was given a heritage of those who pray, but I learned to pray because God made sure I had plenty of good reasons to pray! Being bored to death in an atmosphere I was seeing as somewhat spiritually dead was a reason to pray, especially considering a lively Pentecostal church I considered my home church at that time.
Don’t ever fool yourself. I don’t care what your spiritual pedigree is, when someone really has something in God....it’s because they personally come up for spiritual review with their Heavenly Father again and again and again. It is not just about who your Grandma is, and who your pastor is, and what church you go to and all the prophecies you got, and all the things that bespeak “impartation”. God tries the hearts and reins. Unless someone is a downright spiritual THIEF stealing the words of others, getting their anointing second-hand, only having the “sound”, but not the substance, don’t be so quick to make assumptions because the one whom you may be questioning their “right” to be used of the Lord may have a “secret place” history you know little about.
He reminded of a transitional time in my life between Bible School and marriage where as I sought Him in the late night hours, I had His manifest Presence every night at 11 p.m. and in that time there was much prophetic impartation into my life. Like clock work, He showed up. This went on for months. This didn’t happen because I was seeking manifestations. It happened because I had a desperate need for the Lord at that time in my life, and He was faithful to be there for me.
He reminded of scenes as a young married wife, struggling in my marriage and I found my solace in Him....calling on His Name, opening His Word to get something that would comfort me. A lonely time going deeper and deeper and deeper in God.
I believe it was in that time I mined some treasures that activated something in the realm of the Spirit. I suddenly had a woman ask me to come and preach in her church, and she had never even so much as heard me pray or give a prophecy. All the “being faithful in another man’s vision in the local church” and all the activity that a person does to get noticed to launch a ministry was absolutely fruitless in my case. God bypassed the system, and used a sister instead who heard from the Lord. I was invited back at least 5 times in one year. Not that I’m saying those things are wrong (I mean being faithful in another man’s vision)! Indeed, they are quite scriptural.
But, the Lord wanted me dependent upon the armor that had been proven in my own life....which was MUCH TIME with Him!
He reminded He reminded me of scenes in my childhood upon me that as troubles have come in my life, I have looked to Him to get me through.
But, more than that, He reminded me of the fact that HE placed a hunger within my heart to seek Him, and to draw close to Him in both good times and bad. No one gets credit for that but God Almighty. And the seeking Him in times of trouble for personal answers and personal comfort evolved into seeking Him for a word for others, a message from His heart. I’m a living, walking, breathing example of 2 Corinthians 1:4.
So, now you can understand why I am hitching my wagon to no man’s (or woman’s) star. And neither am I claiming the crown of another as my own.
The epiphany I have had simply boils down to this simple realization:
I have always had my own Star. His Name is Jesus.