For almost 3 years my husband had dreams of moving to Missouri. At first I refused to believe that was God’s will for our lives. But then God started speaking to me in the secret place and then confirming it with words from prophetic people I’d never met or those I never talked to about possibly moving. Clear words, repeated words, from different sources came over and over. I could no longer refute His will.
In August 2017, my husband and I started sorting and packing. Mike took the first load of belongings to Missouri in November. In January 2018 we listed our home for sale and kept sorting and packing.
In the midst of this, Holy Spirit announced to me at the beginning of the year, “Abide is your word for the year.” To me this was a call to discover what Abiding means and how to live in a place of abiding.
I started with enthusiasm and joy by asking Holy Spirit to help me. I read a couple of books on abiding. One was by Andrew Murray – “Abide in Christ.” And then, I purused again, “Practice the Presence of God,” by Brother Lawrence. Heard about Eric Gilmour and read his book, “The School of His Presence.” Then I went on YouTube and watched a number of his videos. Here is one of the newest. This one is very short but others are actual teaching or sermons. Check them out.
One of the phrases Eric repeats is this, “There is a difference between clinging and abiding. Clinging is to grab hold of something. Abiding is refusing to let go or refusing to leave.” To abide then is to live with the continual awareness of His presence, to enjoy that relationship with Him, and refuse to leave Him behind to pursue any other thing.
All was going well. I spent 2-3 hours with Holy Spirit each morning and then spent the rest of the day doing what was needed for our move. As I put different suggestions into practice, I was hearing from God more and feeling more at peace in all I was doing. I was feasting on God’s word and fellowshipping with Him.
In May our home sold and we were immediately consumed with packing, moving, and finding a new home in Missouri. We were on our way to fulfilling God’s word and very excited.
You would think that doing God’s will would be a walk in the park. However, along with all the excitement, my husband got a virus on one of his trips to Missouri and came home sick. He was weak and lost his voice.
We thought it would be over in a few days or a week and all would go on as always, but that was not to be. He wasn’t able to do the packing anymore. Incredible friends and neighbors came. They helped pack, clean, and prayed for us. By God’s grace and all of their help we were able to be out of the house on June 1st and left for Missouri on June 2.
Mike was still sick, but insisted on doing all the driving. We drove and prayed our way from California to Missouri and arrived on June 5th. Our youngest son and his family invited us to stay with them until we found a home.
The next day, we took Mike to the hospital emergency to be checked over. He was running a temp and very weak. Still without a voice. After four days there and every kind of test and a collection of specialists it was determined that Mike still had a virus and it was keeping one of his vocal cords from moving…causing the loss of voice.
They released him with heavy antibiotics and said it should clear up on it’s own. — FYI, antibiotics don’t cure viruses.
Somewhere in all of this I lost my focus on Jesus. With the need to look for a home, care for Mike, and function without any of our normal belongings, life got complicated. I needed a refresher and watched one of Eric’s mini videos. I chose to stop and as Eric had suggested, say out loud, “Lord, I give You all my attention, and I worship You.” When I did this, immediately peace and clarity came. I cannot tell you how many times in the day or night I needed to practice this.
I challenge you to make a conscious decision to focus on Jesus, even for a few moments, wherever you are. I’ve done it in Walmart, in the middle of a conversation (inwardly), anywhere. When you do, you will be amazed at the awareness of His presence.
A little more about this particular video. It is part 14 of an interview Eric made with Daniel Kolenda (Reinhard Bonnke handed over his ministry to Daniel Kolenda. He too is an amazing young man.). In the 32 part interview, cut up in two to six minute pieces, Eric and Daniel discuss how to experience God. There are so many powerful nuggets here.
You may not be in the middle of crisis, but you may be having trouble hearing God in the middle of life. Take time to be with Him, one on one. Make Him your entire focus even for a few moments and experience the peace He brings. You will want more. I know from experience.
We’ve finally found a home in Missouri, but we are still living with our children and having to wait another two weeks to move in. Mike’s strength is almost back to normal and today his voice is finally above a whisper. I am back to spending an hour or more with Jesus in the morning even though I am still living out of a suitcase and have little access to any of our belongings. We are getting another lesson in patience and waiting but, by His grace, we are doing well.
God brought us here for His purposes and Mike and I know regardless of how it appears, He is in control and His word will be fulfilled in us.
The bottom line is,
You can experience His presence, regardless of your circumstances, if you choose to. It’s all about choice.
Colossians 3:1-3 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Hebrews 12:1-2a Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…
I know this blog may sound like an Eric Gilmour commercial. I’ve learned a lot by his suggestions and will leave you with one more short video: 7 Keys for Abiding-Life in His Presence. There are many others teaching on this subject as well. Bill Johnson, Daniel Kolenda, Michael Koulianos, Brian Gruen, are just a few. If you are pursuing His presence, ask Holy Spirit to lead you and He will.