I have a wonderful praise report I want to share!!
Sorry, this maybe long. So get a cup of coffee or tea and settle in, but I promise it will be worth it.
First, you know that peace that passes all understanding? Well, I experienced that yesterday. It’s really hard to explain because it’s a feeling that some people never experience in this life without drugs… I was not high on anything, in fact the opposite was true, I have been fasting for about two weeks. Now, it is possible that after fasting for several days, and then restricting my diet to only eat one meal a day of fresh or steamed veggies, no dressings, no salt, no sugar and only drinking water, and not getting much sleep that night, (I went to bed after 11 and woke up at 3:30 a.m., got up by 4 and left early), and I also introduced some lemon tea with ginseng in the morning and did have some tea at lunch, along with a salad that had basaltic dressing, some pine nuts and some kind of cheese – it is possible it could have been some kind of biological effect.
But, I think it is a breakthrough in the Spirit realm. The night before, the board for Champion’s choice met and some decisions were made. One in particular was to add two positions on our board for parents. (I don’t want to go into a lot of detail on that, except to say they have a plan to work on fundraising). The following morning, yesterday, I realized during my prayer time that I felt relieved, excited and free from some of the responsibilities that have loomed over my head with the success of the preschool. And suddenly I realized that we now have a “partnership” with parents. I realized I was trying to carry the load because it was “my” dream or vision. Or at least, the dream or vision God gave me, or that I pursued in fulfilling the “desires” God has put on my heart. Even though I’ve been praying for God to send the right students and the right families that he would hand pick to share in the mission and vision, and I believed it would happen, I didn’t know how or when. I believe this is the how or when, and the confirmation was the peace I felt yesterday.
Like I said, it’s a feeling hard to describe. I had made a trip to Lakeside to meet with another childhood professional at her facility. She and I had some ECE classes together when we were working on our degree. She also runs a Christian preschool program. But the whole time driving down, and during the visit I really felt peaceful. At first I thought it was caffein from the tea, but none of the tea had caffein, and the feeling was there before lunch. Later, I realized the feeling had been there when I woke up, and while doing my devotions, but I had not put my finger on it.
So, after lunch and driving back to Kalispell I was so overwhelmed with this sense, I just felt euphoric. That word had not come to my mind at the time, rather, it was a sense of feeling light. I tried to describe it. It was not like I had lost weight type light, but like care free, but not just in my mind, like less stressed, but in my body too, just, no worries, everything seemed to be exactly where it was suppose to be and I was “exactly in the center of God’s will”. And it wasn’t just a few seconds, it was the whole day. I went shopping, I even passed up a beggar on the street, and I was still in the center of God’s will for me.
There are only two other times in my life I’ve felt this. Once was while in Mexico on the first mission trip with the Fortine church, and interestingly enough, with Warren Drew from “Lakeside”. At that time I attributed it to diet. We were eating mainly fruit, veggies and beans. But, I was also fasting and praying a bit for direction in my life. I remember a particular day I felt care free and unencumbered by stress and concerns. I didn’t think about being in the center of God’s will at the time, I just thought it was from resting and not having responsibilities of home and free from stress. I remember, also, the good feeling in my body and thought that a diet of fruit, veggies and beans might be a better choice for me. Of course, that didn’t last too long when we got home, I mean continuing a diet of fruit, veggies and beans.
The other time was when David was dying. I was also spending time fasting, in prayer and Scripture, much more than usual. It was during the last couple weeks of his life while in the nursing home at the bedside, if you will. Although, I spent time wandering the halls of the home and taking walks, and sitting across the room reading, praying, playing the guitar and so forth. I had very little contact with the outside world during that month. No TV, no bad news, very few conversations with others (no cell phones then) So, I kind of fasted from the influence of the world too. But, again, there was this uncanny sense of peace in the midst of this time of dying. Not that I didn’t cry and mourn the loss, but in the midst of it, there was a peace that I can’t explain. However, I didn’t go without food for any real length of time, so the other “good” feeling or lightness in my body wasn’t as obvious or present at that time.
So, what really happened that could account for this? And, is it really confirmation from God that there has been a breakthrough in the Spirit realm in regards to the preschool, or was it a symptom of the tea and cheese in the salad – like some kind of sweat lodge peyote cactus high? I don’t think so. But, I’m experimenting this morning and will be for the next few days and maybe weeks. Who knows how long. I’m drinking some lemon ginger tea and sticking with the veggie diet for my afternoon or evening meal to see if I can reproduce the same results, or if it lasts. (I might cheat a little tomorrow for lunch)
Now, on the fast:
I chose to fast because I wanted a breakthrough in prayer – I won’t say what because it’s private – but to break the power of darkness in a couple particular situations I’m aware of. This was prompted by Pastor Cade’s sermon about Angels and demons and in reference to the time that Jesus said some demons come out by prayer and fasting.
During the fast I was doing a study on Daniel’s visit from the angel when he, “set his heart to understand” and on the day he did that the Angel was dispatched to him, but was held in a Spiritual battle against the forces of darkness, and had to call on the Angel Gabriel to help him so he could deliver the answer to Daniel. I also went back to look at all the other times when Daniel was visited by Angels and what his fast looked like, and what he prayed and the response of the Angels. In none of the cases did Daniel set a time limit on his fast. One fast was pretty intense, sack clothe and ashes and so forth and the response time was pretty immediate, within the first 24 hours. The other time it was 21 days before he got the answer. But that time his fast was not going completely without eating. He was selective in his eating and drinking. But the point is, he “set his heart” to understand. I also looked at Isaiah 58, the famous section on fasting and what God considers the purpose of a fast – to break every yoke, to feed and care for the sick and poor. (Very short paraphrase there).
I will also say that my fast time, although it was initiated for a few particular demonic strongholds, included prayers, as usual for other things. The preschool being one, but not like I was concentrating on that with fervency.
In my years of experience I’ve seen God answer an unspoken request, or need during a time I was seeking him or seeking to know his direction in another area – one of the extra perks of being his kid, I guess. You know, that Scripture that says he will answer our prayers beyond what we ask or even think about. Like the time I was delivered from the “curse” or demonic stronghold of foul language, and depression. I think that is what happened.
The other thing was, while I was driving a bunch of related ideas popped into my head, and it seemed like there was such clarity of direction. Some ideas related to the fundraising, lesson plans, scheduling, things volunteers could do, etc. I had the same clarity of direction, excitement and renewed energy this morning when I woke up, in regards to Children’s church too.
So, what’s the take away? For me, it’s knowing and having confirmed that I was walking the road that I was suppose to be on. It was a hard road and I’m sure the difficult patches are not over. I knew when I started out, when we signed the first rental agreement on the building and opened the doors it would be hard. I specifically heard God in my spirit tell me that. I didn’t know how hard, or in what way. I thought it meant that the first few weeks, or months would be hard on Al and I because I would be spending a lot of time away from home preparing the building and getting things set up and so forth. But, there have been many more days and “seasons” during which it was difficult. There were two specific attacks against me and the preschool within the first 3 months. Both times I was heartbroken and felt I had messed up the whole thing God wanted me to do. It would be my faulty that it failed. I went to my prayer warrior lady friends in tears. One sister asked if I still felt God was calling me to this, and if so, I needed to keep going. (and there are still some repercussions going around because of these two things that has had some impact on enrollment)
But, this last year, from last January through December or so, was the most difficult for a number of related and unrelated reasons. I think they were again, attempts by the enemy to shut us down. But, along the way I was encouraged by my preschool “families” support, prayer, devotions and Words of encouragement. God brought to my mind that that he told me it would be hard. also, things like Curry Blake saying you just need to keep showing up and don’t quit, even if you are the only one that does. I did that everyday for months on end, not one student, but I was there. And funny, during that time I didn’t feel too discouraged. It was actually a good time because I got more time to spend praying and seeking the Lord and planning, and growing and getting a better, more relaxed vision or overall goal of the program. I know there will be rough roads ahead. But in the midst of the planning, the hours of labor, prayer, menial day to day tasks, prayers, pleadings, feeling unsure I was going in the right direction, more prayers and assurances from God’s word – ie, particular Scriptures that seemed to be speaking directly to me and the “preschool” vision – in the midst of it all, I was on the right track!!!
Somehow, I believe, and this is the part that we don’t know, except what God has revealed about how things work in the Spirit realm – the demonic strongholds were arrested and told to shut their mouths and retreat. That is something I was praying about, again not in connection directly to the preschool, or even in my own life – except wanting to know and understand how to pray and how to intervene in this other situation.
I prayed for God to send his angels to fight this battle that I can’t see, but I know exists, and I prayed directly against the strongholds by the authority Jesus gave us over all the power of the enemy. I also prayed, asking God to send forth his Angels, as many as were needed to fight the battle against these forces, as if Jesus himself was commanding it. I do believe that is what it means when we are told to pray in his name. It’s as if Jesus himself gives the command, and we are his ambassadors to deliver the message in the real world, and maybe Angels are the ones to do it in the Spiritual world. But, he has told us we can do it in both the physical and Spiritual. I will say, I didn’t expect to “see” an angel, because we have the Holy Spirit in us to teach us all things now, unlike Daniel had. Although that would have been awesome!! The Spirit reveals to our minds, like a light coming on or the “light bulb” idea pops into our heads, or we just know some idea or thought seems to be from him. It’s just there, and it just seems right.
We know that most of our battle is in the mind. That’s what Paul said. The war within our members (our flesh – wanting what feels good or comfortable to our flesh, bodies, minds, and so forth) fighting against us doing what we know is right. And somehow the enemy can blind us or interfere in some way to get us off track.
I’m thinking of the Scriptures that tell us how to stand firm against the wiles of the enemy by putting on the whole armor of God, and that we don’t fight against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and rulers of darkness. He was not talking to the unbeliever, but to the believer. Also that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God to the pulling down of strongholds and casting down, or casting out (arresting and telling them to shut up) of imaginations (strange ideas, lies, deceptions) and anything that exhaults (of sets itself against) the knowledge (or truth) of God, and perhaps God’s will or plan or purpose for your life.
We are also told not to “give place” to the enemy. So, if we are to fight the enemy in our minds and not give them a place to be, this seems to indicate they can influence the way we think, which in turn will influence the way we act, or the direction we take. And, if we are gong in a direction they think will produce glory to God, they will try to get us off track and give up. We know the enemy has powers, and we know that he seeks whom he can devour – and I’m sure he uses every force available to him to do that. But praise God!! Greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world, that is, the flesh, the world and the devil!
I’ll leave it at that. I’m so excited to see what is in store as I continue to walk this path with each of you – because we are in this together! We are all partners in the plan, or path that God has “marked out a head of time” for us to walk in. And, there is a freedom along that path too. His plan allows us to be individuals and shine in the areas that we are passionate about, not according to some specific “lesson plan” where every little detail is mapped out for us and he expects us to follow it to the letter, but he gives us the freedom to express who we are and live that out however it best suits our unique personality and character. This brings him joy and fulfills the circle of life he created in us to live out with him and in Him!
God’s true blessing on your life today – may it be this way and no other!!
Love to you all,
P.S. – no euphoria at this point