rest & hope in 2012
I read this word a few days ago regarding the new year we’re moving into. Bob Hartley is a prophetic leader, I’ve actually seen him a few times, he hears with amazing accuracy from God. He gave this word which I loved, especially as I have felt called to focus on rest since early 2010.
“[God is calling us to] a new partnering with Him, where we become experts in rest as we discern the stressors and clutter in our lives and turn our focus instead toward Him, toward adoring Him. Where the Body of Christ has been operating out of assignment, out of striving, stress and unbelief, the Lord is coming to show us His more excellent way, the way of operating in rest and relationship, of seeing His solutions from above the clouds with Him.
In Exodus 33:15 Moses said to God, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.” At the core of the New Operating System is this valuing of the presence of God above all else.
The New Operating System of Rest
God is calling us into this New Operating System that moves out of rest in His presence – an operating system that He began to explain to me in a dream through a pile of leaves. The dream came at a time when years of pushing hard in life and ministry had left my body and soul running low. In the midst of this time, as I was looking for a new way forward, God brought to me the beginning of the answer in the form of a dream, a dream that began with 10 piles of leaves.
In the dream, as I am walking toward a villa in Germany, I encounter a woman who instructs me to rake up the leaves in her yard into 10 piles. So I start to try to comply with her instructions, but the wind is blowing and I am running in too many directions at once, trying to rake up and gather the leaves, feeling confused and exhausted. The Lord showed me that these 10 piles of leaves represented present needs and issues facing the Body of Christ, which are real, but need to be left to God.
In the dream there was too much to do, too many directions to go in. I was feeling increasingly exhausted, but I wasn’t getting anywhere. Just then a woman with blonde hair and glasses, from the house next door, came up to me, grabbed my face, and said, “One focus, not ten,” telling me to work on raking up ONE pile of leaves instead of the ten. “One focus on His eyes,” she said, and as I raked the remaining leaves and followed her instruction, I did it with rest and ease.
One Focus: His Presence
When I shared this dream about the woman with blond hair and glasses to a good friend, he said to me, “I know the place and the woman.”
A few months later, I went to the wellness center that he had spoken of in Germany. I went to enter in to this New Hope-Filled Operating System based in rest and to restore my body and soul. When I arrived there, I met the woman with the blonde hair and glasses from the dream. She was helping to run the wellness center and she spoke to me in the same way with the same words she had spoken to me in the dream. “One focus,” she said over and over again in the thirty days that I was there. “One focus moving out of a restful place of hope where ministry comes out of overflow, not residue.”
During my time there, God continued to unveil this New Operating System, based in rest, based in one pile of leaves, one focus in Him, that He wants us to function from in the days to come. This one focus is an Ephesians 4:4 call to the Body of Christ. Ephesians 4:4-6 says, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. ONE FOCUS IN HIM.
GOOD word 🙂 and I am particularly in need of it these days. I have fallen into busyness of life that has left me weary, empty and devoid of passion for life. I was going over some old notes and found some I’d taken while listening to Graham Cooke (amazing, amazing teachings) at school. He was talking about the rhythm of rest, how to find your own unique rhythm. He was very practical, he said he knows what times of day are best for him to do different things, the rhythm of how he is made.
He said that all discipline must be rooted in delight, the pleasure of loving God.
He emphasized that we must allow God to cherish us in the place of our insecurity.
It’s not as much about praying to God as praying with Him. Find out what He thinks and agree with Him. Mike Bickle says that you can ask the Holy Spirit anything, how He feels and thinks about anything, anyone, including you. You will always be amazed by the love and joy you will find when you “seek Him with all your heart.”
The last thing Graham said, ask Him “Jesus, what do you want to be for me right now?” You will find your rest in Him and the rest of your life will get sorted out.
“He has come to give us life, and that abundantly.” John 10:10.