The Importance and Practice

One of my favorite things to do is to come together with spiritual family and wait on the Lord. Specifically, wait for “all [His] goodness to pass” by (Exo. 33:19). This is deeply important to me and so essential for the body of the Christ in this hour. We must wait on the Lord.

It is a custom to do an end-of-year celebration. This is also a time when there is an ample amount of prophetic visions, predictions and admonishments for the upcoming year. I personally have taken on the task of resisting the temptation to feel cluttered, distracted and disconnected in the midst of it all. Instead, I’ve chosen to anchor my own heart before the Lord with no other expectations than to be with Him and behold His goodness. It’s in that place that things become clear and focused. In that place, my only goal is to do nothing that would disrupt our connection. It is in His presence where my resolves are surrendered, my worries cast off,  and my heart and ears attuned to His offers of wisdom and revelation.

As we prepare to come together for Glory Nights (Dec 30th and 31st) there are a few essentials I’d like to propose that we take time to prayerfully consider. What I have learned from the Scriptures and experientially in preparing to meet with the Lord (whether corporately or in my own private times) is the priority is consecration. This is a rarely heard or all together missing term in today’s culture. However, we must understand that the same emphasis the Scriptures applies to consecration, the same Spirit requires it for all who would draw near to God (Rom. 6:13-19; 12:1-2; 1 Thess. 4:7; 2 Cor. 7:1;  Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 2:9) .

A straight forward way to apply ourselves to consecration this week is to examine, confess, repent and make amends.

1. With a humble heart EXAMINE yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart (motives and choices). Ask him to reveal any thing said or acted upon that may be unpleasing to the Lord (Psa. 139:23-24; Psa. 26:2; Rev. 2:23).

A Practitioner’s Note: A helpful way to practice Examen, or self-assessment, is to slowly read the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7), the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20), or one of the exhortations in Paul’s epistle (Gal. 5:16-26; Eph. 5:1-21; Col. 3) and honestly ask and seek to answer by the Holy Spirit and your own conscience (whether good or bad): is this true of me? (i.e. “You shall not lie.” Is this true of me? Have I lied without repenting?)

Don’t be hasty to condemn or to acquit yourself. Mercy comes from the Lord (Ex. 34:6-7; Psa. 89:14; Micah 7:18-19). If you pinpoint a certain instance where you believe you may have walked in your own way and not the Lord’s, patiently take note of that and anything else as you read and pray. Then carry on to the next step.

2. With a contrite heart CONFESS anything that you may have a bad conscience about and acknowledge whatever the Holy Spirit reveals. The Scriptures also command us to confess our sins to one another and to pray for another. That may mean calling, texting, meeting up with someone that you love or a spiritual leader and share some time in confession and prayer together (Psa. 32:5; Psa. 38:18; Psa. 51; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Jas. 5:16).

3. With a truthful heart REPENT. Acknowledge God’s ways are better, ask for forgivness, and ask him to teach and lead you in righteousness. Ask for His help as you abandon the old ways and commit to obedience to Him (Luk. 13:3; Acts 3:19; Rev. 2:5; Rev. 3:19; 2 Cor. 7:10).

4. With a merciful heart MAKE AMENDS. Just as we have been forgiven by the mercies of God, so must we forgive and seek to repair godly and peaceful relationship with one another. If you have done any wrong or any wrong was done to you as a gift of mercy release all debt and seek forgiveness of any debt held against you (Matt. 6:12,14-15; Mk. 11:25; Lk. 17:3-4; Eph. 4:31-32; Col. 3:8-13).

NOTE: The motive to forgive one another and pursue peace in relationship is ultimately to please and to be at peace with the Lord. We all have a tendency to seek to be vindicated. Let us give the work of vindication to the Lord (Isa. 50:5-9) and let us seek to live in peace with another (Rom. 12:18).

  • Pray for help, seek advice and direction on how to go about it. 
  • Humbly reach out and seek to have a healthy conversation. It is always helpful to state the end-goal of the conversation. Also seek to talk over the phone or meet in person if possible. IT IS NOT ADVISED TO ATTEMPT THIS OVER TEXT.
  • Mutually share complaints, empathize, seek to take responsibility for what you may have said or done, ask for forgiveness, and offer to make amends (if there needs to be). If you perceive there may be a misunderstanding, gently offer explanation or ask the other to explain.

This gets sticky when we hold true to the perspective that our feelings and complaints are the only valid ones. I must stress the need to lower our defenses (the Lord is our defender), humbly listen and seek to understand and empathize, and gently respond with the intention of making peace.

“19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places [the presence of God] by the blood of Jesus…21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Heb. 10:19-23; cf. Jn. 10:9;14:6; 1 Cor. 1:9; 2 Cor. 7:1; Eph. 2:18; 3:12;Tit. 3:5)

Some may even take a day of fasting as it shows Isaiah 58 to seek the Lord and attempt these spiritual exercises. When we do so God’s mercy prevails and partners to remove anything that would seek to cause us to stumble and hinder us from drawing near to him in confidence.

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