Restrooms, confessions, and forgiveness

Have you ever made a mistake or committed an offense that you confessed to?  What was the result of your admission?  Did you receive justice and mercy, or did you get what you deserved?  Or perhaps you didn’t confess to it and lay in hiding, never to come clean.

We’ve all taken wrong turns, perhaps many of the heart, or maybe it was just a simple traffic ticket or something unintentional such as a practical joke that offended someone, but we have all committed them. And although God is not indifferent towards them, He never ceases being merciful to the repentant one because of His lovingkindness.

Some wrong turns are innocent and perhaps done in fun.  Mine was.  But in the corporate world, my company did not look kindly on a particular one, a prank I and a colleague intended for a laugh. When an inquest ensued to discover the culprits behind the prank, I was guilty in the court of my own conscience.

It was a wrong turn. It was a joke “gone bad” that now haunted me every day.  For some reason, I got this sophomoric idea to post in several of the restrooms, a fictitious, but somewhat believable inter-office memorandum from Employee Relations called Restroom Trip Policy.  It was pure stupidity. It was immature of me, although in my own defense, I was still a kid at heart and 20 something.

Here is what I posted. 

RESTROOM TRIP POLICY

TO: ALL EMPLOYEES
FROM: EMPLOYEE RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
SUBJECT: RESTROOM TRIP POLICY (RTP)

“In the past, employees were permitted to make trips to the restroom under informal guidelines.  Effective April 1987, a RESTROOM TRIP POLICY (RTP) will be established to provide a consistent method of accounting for each employee’s restroom time and ensuring equal treatment for all employees.

Under this policy, a “RESTROOM TRIP BLANK” will be established for each employee.  The first day of each month, employees will be given a Restroom Trip Credit of 30.  Restroom Trip Credits can be accumulated from month to month.

Currently, the entrances of all restrooms are being equipped with personnel identification stations and computer-linked voiceprint recognition.  During the next two weeks, each employee must provide two copies of voiceprints (one normal, one under stress) to the office of the president.  The voiceprint recognition stations will be operational, but not restrictive, for the month of April; employees should acquaint themselves with the stations during that period.  If an employee’s Restroom Trip Blank balance reaches zero, the doors of all restrooms will remain locked for that employee’s voice until the first of the following month.

In addition, all restroom stalls are being equipped with timed paper roll retractors.  If the stall is occupied for more than three minutes, an alarm will sound.  The roll of paper in the stall will retract, the toilet will flush and the door will open.

If you have any questions or concerns about the new policy, please ask your supervisor.  We expect your cooperation with the RTP program.  Thank you.

Well, if it were not for some gullible employee who believed the policy to be true, everyone would have just had a good laugh. Unfortunately, the president of the company got wind of it and didn’t think it so funny. All notices were immediately removed from the restrooms, and to my horror, a witch hunt began. It was incredulous to think that anyone would even take this seriously.

Oh, how I wished Jesus would come to my rescue, and that management would somehow forget the whole thing. The Bible passage –  “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-30), kept going through my head.  But so also did, “And ye shall confess your sins and come clean with it.”  

My heart began to race as I thought about the “what ifs” of confessing my accidental crime. But, I also deeply wanted to have the courage to bring my prank out of the dark and into the light.

So, after 7-days of inquisitions, I finally went to my manager and made a full confession of it.  Much to my surprise, he laughed, yet I was still sternly reprimanded. He would pardon me this one time. Wow! my worst fears were not realized.  Jesus had worked in my manager’s heart and mine.  Case closed! Forgiven!

In retrospect, I was fortunate to have been dealt mercy, for in a world today where justice and mercy are usually administered by a judge and jury who determine the innocence or guilt of a person being tried, there is no sure guarantee that judgment will be fair, or that one will be forgiven.

The Bible says that all have sinned and that subsequently we will all be judged for our sins. Will God show mercy to you?

Small thought here

With God, He is always fair; His mercy is unfathomable. “God’s justice gives us what we deserve, God’s grace gives us what we do not deserve, and God’s mercy withholds what we deserve.”

The Last Laugh

When I left the company after 4 ½ years to pursue another opportunity, some of my colleagues in the office played a practical joke on me. It was all in good fun.

I worked in computers for the Defense Systems department of my company which designed guidance systems and assembled missiles for the US Navy. Upon entering and exiting the building, I had to go through a security checkpoint. On my last day of employment, all company files and items belonging to the company were to be turned over before leaving, which I did.  As I walked through the security gate, as usual, I was asked to open my briefcase.  Unawares to me, security found an office telephone stuffed in my briefcase, which so happened to have been planted by my colleagues as a joke. Who had the last laugh now?  

Copyright 2016 by Bill Hutzel

Rooted and Grounded in the Word of the Lord

International House of Prayer Eastern Gate

Lyrics (spontaneous improvised praise and worship)

Rooted and grounded in You,
Your Word in our heart, God
Deep down on the inside
Let Your seed go deep, deep, deeper still.
Rooted and grounded in the Word of the Lord
Rooted and grounded in the Word of the Lord
Rooted and grounded in the Word of the Lord
We are the song, we are the light makers.

That’s ridiculous!

photo from Steve Backlund’s post “Worrying with God

Don’t we all worry and think negative thoughts at times? “Negative worry is imagining your future with God not showing up “(from Worrying with God by Steve and Wendy Backlund).  Isn’t that ridiculous to think? Perhaps because worry is based on past experiences in life, right? But what if we imagined only positive thoughts instead of going to the negative? 

Peggy and I had just listed our house for sale and have already placed an offer on another house. The offer was accepted and is contingent upon us having a contract on our house at 309 Kelly Drive in the next 14-days (as of 2 days ago).  Instead of seeing and hearing God regarding His/our desire, I have contemplated worrisome, negative “what ifs” instead of thinking positive thoughts.

What if we don’t get close to or receive the asking price for our home?
What if too few people see our house for sale?
What if we don’t get an offer/contract on our house in the next 12 days?
What if I regret moving elsewhere?

I will try to answer these “what ifs” with positive thoughts in mind.

If we don’t get our asking price or a price that would allow us to afford the new home, then God has something better in store for us.  That’s positive thinking. Perhaps interest rates will continue to fall. Wouldn’t that be a blessing in the event we don’t move immediately. God’s got our best interest at heart.

If too few people see our house for sale, I am reminded that it only takes one to like it.

What if we don’t have a contract in the next 12-days and the offer on the new house falls through?  Worse case is we continue living in our current home which I like anyway.  Perhaps God is trying to protect us. God has something better in store for us.

Will I have regrets about moving?  God knew that I was anxious about moving from the house I have lived in for 30-years.  I am comfortable here. But I also knew it was time to move.  As I asked God regarding my concerns, I randomly opened my Bible and looked down at Hebrews 6:14. The following jumped off the page at me – “Have no doubt, I promise to bless you over and over.” 

On another occasion when I was praying to God about moving, God already knew my mind and had anticipated my concerns. It was a reminder that He always tenderly cares for me, and that I am to quit struggling so hard to make it happen, and trust Him at the right time and place as He sees fit. Again, I randomly opened my Bible to 1 Peter 5:6-7 which says in the Passion Translation “…  leave the timing in his hands.Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.” 

I continued reading on in 1 Peter 5:8-9 where it says. “Take a decisive stand against the devil and resist his every attack with strong, vigorous faith. This is especially important because God, in so many words, was telling me to resist the temptation to think negative thoughts that would steal my peace and joy.

Now go ahead and read Steve Backlund’s “Worrying with God.”

Copyright 2020 by Bill Hutzel

JOIN INSPIRATION AND HOPE ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE

Someone else’s faith and a mustard seed

It was the early 70s. The Beatles, public demonstrations and disorder (sound familiar?), gas shortage lines1, and the Vietnam war were in full swing. It was the “sign of the times.” 

In 1971, the Jesus Revolution was Time magazine’s featured front cover.  It was a period in history of soul searching, of looking inward. We were trying to figure out who and what we were, and where we were going as a human race. For me, I wanted the assurance of going to heaven when I died and not to be left behind.

In January of ‘72, I became a believer in Jesus Christ during the Jesus Movement. The ‘turn on, tune in, drop out’ counterculture was discovering a new way to live as many “long beautiful hair, shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen, give me down to there hair, shoulder length or longer2 haired hippies began to embrace the gospel. I was now “getting high on Jesus,” “Peace and Love.”  Hey, what about “God is groovy” and “Smile God loves you.” 

On my college campus I made friends with a charismatic group of Jesus People who believed in miracles, signs and wonders, faith, healing, and powerful works of the Holy Spirit. Many testified to having supernatural experiences similar to those recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, especially speaking in tongues. I wanted what they had. And so, I began attending an Assembly of God church which operated in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

At first, my faith to believe in miracles was … well, let’s just say, challenged. In my previous church, I was taught miracles, signs, and wonders ended with the apostles. Many denominational churches and pastors are trained in skeptical unbelief and rejection of the supernatural. They do not believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as healing and words of knowledge, that they are for today. In Christianity, the word of knowledge is a spiritual gift listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8. It is simply the Holy Spirit transmitting His specific knowledge to you about someone or something that you would have no ability or means to be able to know otherwise with your limited intelligence and knowledge levels. It is supernatural knowledge and insight being given directly to you by the Holy Spirit Himself, not by your mind or your intelligence. These words of knowledge, that you can receive directly from the Holy Spirit, can literally cover an infinite number of things in your daily life from simple things such as where you misplaced your car keys to having a supernatural revelation about someone or yourself. Have any of you had a prophetic word of knowledge shared with you that was spot on?  Ever wonder how they knew? 

My faith is challenged

Back to the story. Eddie Smith, an evangelist faith healer, was coming to Kearny, New Jersey to lead a weekend healing revival service. I had heard of faith healers before, but mostly by hearing and reading accounts of famous people such as Smith Wigglesworth and Oral Roberts. There were numerous claims of divine healing during their ministries.  Now I would get to see one.

Was freedom from disease God’s will on earth? Was the kingdom of God now and not yet in its fullness? Meaning that healing and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today and not just when we are resurrected with new bodies. Perhaps these questions would be put to bed after this weekend. No more questioning. PROOF that miracles, signs, and wonders were for today!

I asked my younger brother, who was also a new Christian if he wanted to go with me. He replied that he would.  So, the two of us on a Friday evening hopped in my Forest Green 1968 Volkswagen Beetle and drove to the church where the revival was happening. If you weren’t looking for it, it was easy to pass by. The small suburban white clapboard Assembly of God church on Elm Street had no parking and sat nestled between houses no more than 20 to 25 feet apart on a tree-lined street resulting in it blending in with the other houses. The church, as you can see from the picture below was neither attractive nor spacious, although, it comfortably accommodated a small congregation of people just under a hundred. There were no ornate stain-glassed windows, church bells, or an inviting entranceway or vestibule as many might be accustomed to. It was plain to look at on the outside, but on the inside, there was something extraordinary about to happen.

My brother and I waited momentarily under the aluminum awning behind other attendees ahead of us. As we approached the door, a man warmly greeted us. “Welcome. Glad to see you.”  We acknowledged his greeting and then went in.

Inside, the room was already packed to overflowing. We were fortunate to find a couple of seats on the end of a pew about 8 rows back from the front where I could stretch out my long legs into the aisle. We then sat back and waited for the service to start.

There was a buzz in the air with people talking loudly while others sat quietly, anxiously waiting for the service to begin. Not long afterward, the senior pastor of the Assembly then quieted the room and opened with prayer and singing before introducing Eddie Smith.  Like most churches, there was no clapping to welcome the guest evangelist and faith healer, as would have been customary if this were a theatrical production. But this was not theater; this was a REVIVAL!   

Eddie Smith opened with a couple of jokes in typical British humor. “Who here has a crick in their neck?” A guy in the audience stood up. “I am suffering from a pain in the neck,” he said. “Well,” Eddie Smith replied with a sly smile, “will you please ask your wife to approach the altar?”  Sounds like Smith was trying to get to the real source of this guy’s “pain in the neck.”   LOL.

Eddie Smith was a heavyset man with an authoritative presence. I looked curiously on as he had words of knowledge of healing for those in attendance. “Who in this room is suffering from one leg being shorter than the other?” Unequal leg length is a rare condition where the legs are either different lengths or appear to be different lengths because of misalignment.  “The Lord wants to heal you,” he said.  A person stood up and made his way to the front of the room. There was an abnormal gate to his stride. Smith asked him to sit down in a chair and stretch out both legs so that he could assess his condition. There was an expectancy in the room that something miraculous was about to happen. I looked on in wonderment, hoping.  Would one of his legs actually grow out?  “In the Name of Jesus,” Eddie Smith commanded the one short leg to grow out, and it did! The room erupted in loud shouts of praise and raising of hands. Many more healings also happened that night. This made me want to come back the next evening. What miracles would God do again on Saturday?  I looked forward with expectancy.

The second evening of meetings was also packed to overflowing. You could just feel the excitement and expectation.  Much the same as the previous night, Eddie Smith had words of knowledge for those who needed healing, and again many were healed. Then I heard, “Who in this room has plantar warts?”  I was stunned, shocked into disbelief. How could he know that I suffered from plantar warts?  Plantar warts are small growths that usually appear on the heels or other weight-bearing areas of your feet that can cause extreme pain.  It was true that I suffered from plantar warts, but I thought Eddie Smith couldn’t mean “Little, Ol’ Me.”   I reasoned it must be someone else. And so, I did not respond, nor did anyone else answer the invitation to go forward for plantar warts. When I didn’t respond, Eddie Smith continued inviting others to be healed for other ailments.  Why didn’t I go out on a limb? Was it because I might risk failing, or look foolish? I didn’t like being the center of attention. But mostly, I believe it was to deflect disappointment if I were not healed of my plantar warts.

Final Invitation

Again, Eddie Smith made the same invitation as earlier – “There is someone here with plantar warts.  Won’t you please come forward?” Nothing. Crickets. No one moved. Deep inside I knew the invitation was for me, but I still didn’t respond.  “Nope! Can’t do it. No way!”

It was not until the third and final invitation of the evening when my brother nudged me.  That’s you, bro. You have to go up.”  I was stubborn and refused to budge.  “This is the 3rd and last time I will make this invitation for someone with plantar warts to come forward. I want you to come up here right now!”  Finally, my brother then got this brilliant idea to push me out of my pew. Next thing I knew, I stood frozen like a deer in headlights for everybody to notice. It was too late for me to retreat, so, I tepidly approached Eddie Smith. He was expectantly waiting.  

As I stood there, Eddie Smith laid hands on me and called on all of heaven and the Name of Jesus to heal me from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. It was not some feeble prayer lacking strength or boldness. “O God. You invite all who are burdened to come to You. We therefore implore thee Almighty Father to heal, should it be your gracious and sovereign will.” It was instead with authority that Eddie Smith commanded.  “In Jesus’ Name, plantar warts leave right now! GO! In the Name of Jesus.” There was no reservation or doubt in his voice, only a complete and unwavering faith that I would be healed by the blood of Jesus.

Reaching out His hand, He touched him, saying, “I am willing; be made clean,” and immediately the disease left him. (Luke 5:13)

What was I feeling? To be honest, I felt nothing short of nothing. Crazy, huh? I didn’t fall to the floor and start to shake and roll. I didn’t feel a surge of electricity go through me or tingling in my extremities. My eyes didn’t flutter, nor did I hear God’s speak audibly or even in a small still voice to my spirit. I felt nothing. I heard nothing. Absolutely, NOTHING!  I was more self-conscious of being the focus of everyone’s attention and looking foolish, that I moved rather quickly back to my seat after Eddie Smith finished praying for me. Phew! That was embarrassing.

When I got home that night, I went straight to my room to get ready for bed. As I sat on the edge of my bed, I began taking my sock off when my hand rubbed against the bottom of my foot. I was completely taken by surprise as I wasn’t expecting to be healed.  Miraculously, the bottom of my foot felt smooth and without blemish. God had completely healed me of plantar warts!  To this day, they have never returned!

Multiple faiths at work

God works in miraculous ways, despite our inadequacies and little faith. Did I believe in healing for myself?  I wasn’t sure.  However, there had to have been a mustard seed of faith to bring me and my brother to the revival meeting.  

Matthew 17:20 “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

It took my brother’s little faith to push me and encourage me to move from my seat so that I might experience more of God.

It took Eddie Smith’s great faith to command, with the authority he had in Jesus’ Name, “Be healed!”  As the disciples were empowered to do the things that Christ did, so are we today. John 14:12-14 is a wonderful verse that we must believe is for TODAY.

Sometimes it is also through God’s prophetic word and other’s testimonies of personal healing that move us to greater faith to believe.

Ultimately, however, it was because Jesus heard the Father’s heart for me. It was because of the Father’s tender kindness, His grace, His compassion, and His constant love for me that He chose to heal me. (Psalm 69:16).

Has this whet your appetite to hear more?  I want to create hunger in you to desire more Holy Spirit as it did for me following that evening in 1973.

Take a moment to sit quietly with the Lord and invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about God’s heart for you. God desires to not only save us but to empower us and commission us to do the things Jesus did.  It is God’s will for you to grow in faith. God desires to heal your body and soul. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you His truths in scripture.

“I tell you this timeless truth: The person who follows me in faith, believing in me, will do the same mighty miracles that I do—even greater miracles than these because I go to be with my Father! For I will do whatever you ask me to do when you ask me in my name. And that is how the Son will show what the Father is really like and bring glory to him.  Ask me anything in my name, and I will do it for you!” – John 14:12-14

Have you personally received healing in your life or administered healing in the Name of Jesus? What was your experience? Would you share it?

Copyright 2020 by Bill Hutzel

JOIN INSPIRATION AND HOPE ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE

FOOTNOTE
1 America Out of Gas – A Lesson in Patience by Bill Hutzel, 2016
2 “Hair” by the Cowsills, 1969

Is God your vision, or are you looking through broken spectacles?

Is God the focus of your every thought? Do you consider God’s will when you are making decisions? Do you trust in God to establish your every step? Does God delight in your ways? Is He your total abandon?

Trust in God for all things.
He is the light that redeems.
He is the light that restores.
He is the light that heals.
He is the light that protects.
He is the light that saves.
Almighty God, we thank you.


Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth
(Colossians 3:2)

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night;
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Copyright 2019 by Bill Hutzel

JOIN INSPIRATION AND HOPE ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE

Adventures in Flowing in God, Part 4

I began writing this as a continuation of a series of posts entitled Adventures in Flowing in God, but perhaps this should have been renamed “ADVENTURES IN FLOWING IN GOD … NOT SO MUCH THIS TIME.”

Do you ever wish to hear God, but you can’t? This is not an uncommon problem for the average Christian. Not hearing God’s voice, however, was never intended by God. Learning to discern and hear His voice is invaluable. I found this out on vacation in Arizona last September 2019.

Lovers of God have been given eyes to see
with spiritual discernment
and ears to hear from God.
(Proverbs 20:12)

So, why am I sharing this with you? What lesson did I learn?

TV and radio transmissions are broadcast 24/7 daily, but we can only hear a broadcast if we turn it on. Similarly, we can only hear God’s voice if we turn Him on and tune Him in. God is always transmitting. How’s your reception?

NOT HEARING FROM GOD

Although traffic was heavy, I left with plenty of time to arrive at International House of Prayer Eastern Gate by 6 o’clock for the Thursday evening service, and so I wasn’t particularly anxious; YET!  I was looking forward to playing in worship and was earnestly seeking Him and connecting with Him on my drive there.

UNTIL ….

I had never traveled this particular route before and so I depended on my GPS device to get me to my destination. Normally, the GPS is very reliable unless it loses its signal or goes awry, which is very infrequent.

The road was heavily traveled with lots of stops and starts due to lights and a large number of cars and trucks on the road. It was “rush hour. Frequently cars would cut in front of me to get in my lane. “Okay, Bill, take a deep breath and count to 3.”  I eased back on the accelerator and put a couple of car lengths in front of me, although what I really wanted to do was ride this guy’s tail and lay on the horn. I didn’t, however, remembering to BE FILLED with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18) rather than be filled with the flesh.

The female voice on my GPS alerted me to a turn coming up. Unlike my demeanor right now, there was no alarm in her voice as she matter-of-factly said, “Take next right turn in 500 feet.” I’ve gotten used to her voice. She is my friend. I don’t have a name for her, so I’ll just call her SHE. And so, I listened and followed her instructions.

But SHE’s instruction had to be wrong. Too late, I had already committed to making the turn. Why did SHE put me on a jug handle to go in the opposite direction from which I was traveling?  My frustration showed as I told her so in so many words. Have you ever had your GPS take you in circles as if it were confused? I have, and so I thought this was one of those times. Ignoring her, I instinctively got back on our original route. SHE did not correct me and allowed me to continue. I discounted the mistake to be a malfunction.

Sometime later, SHE instructed me to get in the leftmost lane. I did and then saw that I was in the left two lanes for the Holland Tunnel to New York City. “What!??? I’m not going to New York City.” What’s going on with SHE?”  Alarmed, I immediately put my right blinker on and edged my car into the middle lane. Still, with my blinker on I attempted to get into the rightmost lane to get on to the Pulaski Skyway to New Jersey. My car was rolling forward slowly with the traffic until I abruptly stopped. All cars came to a halt in front of me. When we started moving again, someone sped up and wouldn’t let me merge. “C’mon!,” my frustration showing again. Typical New Jersey driver! Ugh.

“Okay, enough of the horns already!” No one was allowing me to merge into their lane, and so I momentarily held up traffic in the middle lane until someone was kind enough to let me get in front of them, or perhaps it was I who got a little aggressive and cut the nose of my car in front of theirs until they had to yield. By this time, I had lost any feeling of the presence of God. I would have leaned on the horn but reconsidered. In New Jersey, if you annoy the driver in front of you, they will personally see to it that it takes you twice as long to get to where you are going. Can any of you new jerseyans relate?

The Pulaski Skyway is a 4-lane highway that runs for 3 ½ miles over two rivers and the New Jersey Meadowlands where rumor has it, Jimmy Hoffa’s body is buried underneath. It soars 135-feet into the air bypassing railroads, interstates, factories, oil refineries, and canals. Trucks, pedestrians, and bicycles are prohibited on the skyway because the four-lane highway, two in each direction, barely fits onto the structure, leaving no room for a shoulder or sidewalk. At one time, there were over 400 crashes a year on the highway and thus the reason for prohibiting commercial vehicles and pedestrians today.

Talk about not hearing from God. You assume the worst. What if I don’t get there at all? Yup, my frustration had gotten the better of me. We’ve all been there, done that. I needed to get back in the Spirit.

Over an hour into my route, SHE alerted me to  – “Route Memory Full,” and then my GPS stopped working. The maximum available memory had been exceeded. Why is this happening to me? If SHE were a real person I might have wondered, was SHE angry at me for something? Or was she just having a bad day and malfunctioned? We humans sometimes malfunction too. I was having one of those malfunctions right now and could not hear God as He had designed me to hear Him.

What do I do now?” I thought. I was completely lost without my GPS. But then I was quietly reminded in my spirit of my vacation in Arizona when my wife Peggy and I heard God’s voice for guidance. So, why not now? I thought. I needed to rely NOT on my GPS device but God’s Positioning Satellite instead.

It wasn’t so easy, though, under duress and the incessant chatter in my head. Instead of hearing God’s voice, I kept hearing – “You are going to be late; really late!” “Are you delusional?” “You can’t hear God for directions.” “How foolish of you to think that God would supernaturally guide your way there.” “Stop at a gas station and ask for directions.” Oops, I just passed one a 1/2 mile back.

“Take the next right,” I thought I heard in my spirit. But too late to respond I passed it and kept going. Did God really tell me to take that right-hand turn or was it all in my head?  The next right-hand turn was a dead-end. I kept going until I finally committed to the next right-hand turn. It seemed most logical and was at least in the right direction.

Hearing God was difficult. It felt too much like rowing an 8-man 60-foot long sculling boat against the tide and wind by myself. Where was my coxswain to encourage and guide me? If you don’t know what a Coxswain is, it is the person in charge of the boat, particularly its navigation and steering. During a race, a coxswain is responsible for steering and calling the moves. “LET IT RUN; LET IT GLIDE.”

Well, I certainly wasn’t a smooth-running vessel, and the finish line wasn’t in sight. Was God even listening to my cry of HELP? Had my coxswain fallen overboard? No, clearly the problem was not with God, but with me.

It would have been so much easier if my scull was equipped with sails to catch the wind, analogous to catching the Holy Spirit’s wind. Coming into alignment with the Holy Spirit then would be just like sailing, not by my own strength, but effortlessly with His breath. Things could then happen in our life that would otherwise not be possible, things like asking for small, even unorthodox things like this, not just the big things.  “Give ear and come to me” (Isaiah 55:3) – in everything!

Circumstances were different now than our vacation in Arizona where there was no deadline to be anywhere. Yet I won’t say that hearing God’s voice was not without some resistance, then, either. It was just different. Given our unfinished spiritual condition, we often resist God and withdraw from what He wants to show us. And so, this is where I had mentally retreated in my moment of panic.

Listening, like most disciplines is a skill we develop that comes from a deeper relationship with God that is developed by actually engaging with Him, by finding intimacy with Him.

My GPS device, by the way, did come back online, although it only worked intermittently. So, there were a couple of wrong turns, yet God still got me to IHOP with 7-minutes to spare. I was relieved that God came through despite my victim mentality to succumb to negativity.

HERE’S WHAT I LEARNED

In retrospect, I am now able to look back. I am convinced that God was always in control even though I wasn’t. When it seemed like I was facing problems at every turn (Haha, forgive the pun), I needed to be reminded of how God saw my problem. I needed a new perspective, a different thought process, a language nothing the world had ever heard before. Here’s what Graham Cooke said in his video The Language of Heaven.  “No problem can come to us without a provision and a promise attached to it.  A problem is meant to move us into God’s provision. What if a problem is so big? Then the promise is bigger than the problem. Imagine! It’s a new way of thinking. Every problem comes with a promise and a provision. Convert your negatives into something brilliant because Christ doesn’t want us to be victims of negative situations. We need a new mindset. We need a new language that describes who God is for me.”

I am learning how to step into God’s fullness when I have problems. I am learning how to step into my inheritance. Everything I face in life, whether small or large, is meant for me to become more like Jesus.

Have you set your sails, or are you still rowing under your own power? Who is your coxswain?

If you haven’t already read:  “Adventures in Flowing in God,” Parts 1, 2, and 3. Click on links below.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Copyright 2020 by Bill Hutzel

JOIN INSPIRATION AND HOPE ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE

Change the Tide in the Name of Jesus

https://youtu.be/lAWPKdsabfw (Duration: 1 min 55 sec)

Recorded live at the International House of Prayer Eastern Gate. It’s more important than ever NOW that we pray that there be a Holy Spirit increase, that there would be an increased spirit of prayer and song, that Jesus Christ would be lifted up in these days, and that the Word of the Lord would break out and turn the tide in our region and nation. God calls us to worship and rise!

JOIN INSPIRATION AND HOPE ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE

Related: Post Worship and Rise

Change the Tide in the Name of Jesus (FULL LENGTH VERSION)

Recorded live at the International House of Prayer Eastern Gate. It’s more important than ever NOW that we pray that there be a Holy Spirit increase, that there would be an increased spirit of prayer and song, that Jesus Christ would be lifted up in these days, and that the Word of the Lord would break out and turn the tide in our region and nation. God calls us to worship and rise!

JOIN INSPIRATION AND HOPE ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE

When I Think About the Lord

By James Huey
Recorded live at International House of Prayer Eastern Gate
September 26, 2019

When I think about the Lord
How He saved me, how He raised me
How He filled me with the Holy Ghost
How He healed me to the uttermost
When I think about the Lord
How he picked me up
Turned me around
How He set my feet
On solid ground

It makes me wanna shout…
Hallelujah, thank You, Jesus
Lord, You’re worthy
Of all the glory, and all the honor
And all the praise

JOIN INSPIRATION AND HOPE ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE

God We Pray

GOD WE PRAY by Pete & Jess (Hutzel) Gillott

FEAR IS A LIAR. Fear is a predator. Fear is a spirit that takes captive and releases no prisoners unless commanded to do so by a higher authority. JESUS IS THAT AUTHORITY!!! Faith is that authority. Our song and prayer over you is this…LET FAITH RISE UP and LET FEAR FALL DOWN, in JESUS NAME! Here’s a song that God recently put on their hearts. Sing it over yourself. Sing it over your family, your community and our world. “But God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind” 2 Timothy 1:7. We rise up in faith praying, God, YOUR will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Be at peace and of sound mind my friends; we are praying for you and with you and we WILL see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!