For the past few months I have had this unsettled feeling in my spirit that comes as part and parcel when I embark on the process of transition. I am feeling that it is time for a change, a move, a desire to go to something else.
One day this week as I was waking up in bed, and just as the sun was beginning to rise up and claim the morning, I began to ponder these unsettled feelings. As my mind began to track back through this decade and then rewind through previous decades, I noticed something interesting, well at least interesting to me. Since growing into adulthood, with every single change in a decade, I have moved to another city, and typically to another state. I have undergone many of my life’s most profound seasons of change while journeying through the ‘9’ and into the ‘0’ . 1) From an Alabama high school senior to Virginia-bound college freshman, 2) a career upgrade requiring a move from Alabama to Atlanta, 3) freshly single and broken in Atlanta to single yet still alive returning back to Alabama, 4) then 10 years later single and broken again (not marriage related!) and still in Alabama with a return to my hometown, and now this new decade (still single ha!) but strong, self employed and now stabilized in a foundation built upon Christ Jesus.
This week, I was reading a book on the life of King David. One of the chapters went to great lengths to show the process that David went through before God opened the door for him to become King. Even (and especially after) David became Israel’s second King, he continued to experience trial after trial. He was trained through so many trials that when he encountered his most serious they did not consume. We all know that David was by no means perfect but undeniably a great leader possessing a connection to God as His Beloved, that was and may still be unmatched. Only God knows this but throughout the process, David strengthened himself in the Lord and no other. This is a great lesson for all of us.
As I move through life, I see there are no shortcuts; neither in business nor in ministry nor apparently as David’s life illustrates, in kingdom management. Its all process, process, process. My life compared to King David, although not without some steep almost vertical degrees of difficulty, has been by comparison, simple. David got an early start as a giant killer and in doing so got an early leg up to be groomed for a great destiny. Despite being raised in the church, I was a late bloomer to Jesus and to the understanding of true faith. How I wish I had not lost those precious years circling in the weeds of life, unaware that there was a divine GPS to guide me along a righteous path but again I say – it’s a process, and don’t let anyone convince you differently. There is no microwave growth in Christianity – its water, son-light and roots growing deeper and deeper and deeper into the verdant soil of the Divine.
I have noticed that doors, particularly meaningful spiritual doors, swing open on just one or two hinges. These doors cannot be pushed, kicked or broken down – these doors swing wide with no known pressure. Again reflecting on David, he was thought the least of Jesse’s sons and was not even presented to Samuel. David was out in the field, diligently doing his job, minding the sheep and BOOM – a life changing encounter came out of nowhere, an encounter undeniably from the hand of God.
And the word of the Lord came to Nathan (the prophet) saying –
11 Samuel 7:8-9 So now say this to my servant David, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be prince over My people. And I was with you where you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name like that of the great men of the earth.”
Some of the most important opportunities that have come my way, those of which I can take no credit, have emerged from out of the blue. These “doorways of grace” glided open easily with no striving, occurring only in their proper time and season. There was no planning, foresight or known cause for God’s invisible, provident breath to blow these doors of opportunity open wide. But there is something of importance to note: When these doors swing open we must be ready to move as they are on a hinge that snaps back and will slam like that old wood frame screen door on your grandmothers house. Whap! I can still hear that door slamming closed on a few opportunities that I did not walk through due to fear, self doubt and over thinking but because of the goodly nature of God – I, like you, can rest in His second chances.
Not typically associated with “fun”, the process of being in the process is certainly punctuated with times of enjoyment but rarely would anyone describe the work involved as “fun”. “Fun” relates to entertainment – if being constantly entertained is what it took to become great then one would not have to journey through “a process” to arrive. Entertainment is typically reserved for endeavors that engage the soul on a surface level but never engage with the spirit – as it takes The Spirit to successfully navigate The Process. Are you still with me ?
As I write this on the first day of the year and even a new decade, I remain expectant of what and where the process will take both you and me. As we look backward to 2010 and consider where we have come – remain encouraged. I am not where I wish to be but definitely have made significant progress in the 10 years spent (some would consider) in this wilderness, a place where I never desired to grow content or become familiar. When I look in the mirror I am reminded that although “my youth is being renewed as the eagles” those eagles are definitely older eagles – I’m no eaglet! But God has given me a greater peace for the process. Perhaps this is to become my desire for 2020 that I wish for you and for me: Peace.
Happy New Year!
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Tracy Gatewood is the author of Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus (2015)
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“All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [ by anxious thoughts and forebodings ], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances ] ” Proverbs 15:15 AMP
” A happy heart is good medicine, and a cheerful mind works by healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones”. Proverbs 17:22 AMP
” Attitude is a little thing that can make a big difference“. Winston Churchill
Many of us will agree there is a direct, undeniable connection between the mind and the body. It is how to calm and tame the soul (mind, will, emotions) – bringing it to cheerful joy and peace despite circumstances – is what eludes so many.
In 2009, I made a personal decision to return to my hometown after being away since 1979. I put my home on the market and began a job search, hoping to find something quickly as I had been a marketing freelancer which did not translate well in this new much smaller, college town environment. In the summer of 2009, I went on a spiritual retreat designed to free me of fears and habits that had accumulated over time. This was my hometown and a place in which I held unhappy memories and conflicts with family members were ongoing and troubling. In the natural, this did not seem like the right move however, I believed that God had a plan and a purpose for my return.
Following this 4 day retreat, I was attacked by something that I can only describe as a “spirit” as it was supernatural in its make up. Nothing I did would cause it to release. A trained Intercessor, I prayed, and then yes, begged God to remove this spirit that was causing me to stay awake at night – I only received at most 4 hours of sleep, and my heart raced uncontrollably as if I was literally having a heart attack. I felt like I was having what a nervous breakdown must feel like – but understood there was something very different about what was happening and I was correct.
During that 6 week period – I experienced a consistent feeling of terror, the highest degree of fear – that would never disconnect, day or night. It was not brought on by emotion, or circumstances but was supernatural in nature and demonic, a “thing” that tried to take my life and almost did. Suddenly, six weeks after the attack began, it released. I was standing in my living room praying and I felt it lift away – with no warning, just as quickly as it had come upon me. I had been praying for 6 weeks and believe there was nothing unique at that time as to what I said or prayed. Following that attack, I lived in an unfocused fog and detached confusion but months later thankfully that too lifted. This attack taught me survival training regarding prayer and how to hold peace in difficult circumstances. [A near death experience does have a way of gaining your attention. ] Your most important friend in time of great fear and distress is Holy Spirit. He is the Administrator and Coordinator of the Peace that was bequeathed to us from Christ Jesus.
Begin by embracing the Truth that God loves you and that He is for you, no matter what your circumstances. Even if you made a mistake you can always ask Him to turn your mistakes around for your good. He is there with you and sees everything. You must lean into Him and build your relationship with Holy Spirit so that you can hear His direction. He is speaking – you must learn how to hear Him and then do what He says. This is the fastest way out of your circumstances. Pray for Him to impart to you His discernment and skillful and Godly wisdom.
FEAR magnetizes all other unrighteous thoughts, drawing them towards an individual. FEAR is the Red Carpet that provides the jetway for jealousy, murderous rage, anger, covetousness, bitterness, shame, rejection and more – Get your mind under control and press out ALL fear. There are a several ways to tame the Fear dragon, and not one is difficult but each requires enough discipline to become a habit and better still – a default setting – whenever you are hard hit by a Fear Wall.
A) Read God’s Word. It acts as a water hose, rinsing off the dirt and grime that builds up from conversations, watching terror or violence laden TV, or just from being in the workplace. The Word of God is SPIRIT and is living and active. There is actual power in speaking aloud God’s Word – power that moves in the supernatural realm to accomplish our goals, and helps us take dominion over circumstances. There is a wealth of wisdom just in The Proverbs alone. There are 31 chapters of Proverbs, and one for each day. Commit to reading this powerful book.
The word “health” in Hebrew means ‘medicine’ and God’s Word is medicine that brings health to the soul. There is a difference between divine health and divine healing. John G Lake stated, ” Divine healing is the removal by the power of God of the disease that has come upon a body. But divine health is to live day by day, hour by hour in touch with God so that the life of God flows into the body just as the life of God flows into the mind or flows into the spirit.”
B) Call on the power of the Holy Spirit and invoke the Cross in Prayer. This is key. Fear is a spirit – as are the associated spirits of dread, terror, worry and anxiety. Before His death, Jesus bequeathed to all Peace as a gift from Him: “Peace I leave with you; My (own) peace I now give and bequeath to you“. John 14:27 AMP So if Jesus actually gave us His own peace – shouldn’t we have the ability to access it when needed ? Well…. yes we should. Ask the Holy Spirit to cover and protect your mind with the Blood of Jesus and the Helmet of Salvation – a helmet of hope. Pray and acknowledge the verses describing the sacrifice of Jesus: Isaiah 53:5 and place emphasis on the Crown of Thorns that caused the blood of Jesus to flow. This allows for the healing in our minds. I have personally experienced the effect of this many times. Imagine an etch a sketch pad with scribble across it and as you lift up that film, the scribble disappears. This is how thoroughly clean the Holy Spirit can remove unrighteous thinking in your mind when you partner with Him, the Paraclete.
C) Intensely focus your mind on Jesus who is ALL supply. There is no lack in Jesus unless you restrict His supply through your own lack of faith (your fear). Not only is He the bright radiant Son that lights up all of Heaven, He is the Mediator of the Eternal Covenant, our High Priest, the Chief Shepherd, and the Chief Intercessor. His sacrifice created an Eternal Covenant that ties back to the Covenant that God made with Abraham (father of a multitude) because Abram (high exalted father) believed in, trusted in, relied on and remained steadfast to the Lord Who counted it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6) Every citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven owns a title deed to the Covenant that God made with Abraham and with Jesus.
You, child of God, walk with favor, even if your present circumstances do not appear that way but you must hold fast to the hope that the Cavalry is coming because Calvary came!
Hope is a confident expectation of good, in every situation, praising God for His goodness.
Frequent drops of hope raining onto a person’s soul creates a consistent flow of faith. Remain in hope. Hope is much different than wishful thinking which is only based on man and not on God. Immerse yourself in hope-filled teachings avoiding teachers of behavior modification that do not understand that Jesus’ power is transformational through faith in Him.
C) Speak Words of Life during difficult circumstances. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”. Proverbs 18:21 The rest of the verse states “and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof”. Watch your words. Your words set the course for your life and you will have what you say. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34) If you guard your heart – and do not allow fear and emotion to penetrate, this is the surest way that words of hope and life pouring from your mouth.
Remain in innocence – understand that the Lord is your Defender and Avenger. Do not respond in kind to people that are harmful or hateful. The Lord will take care of them in due time. And lastly, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and understanding and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6 Embracing this truth of trusting God will put your heart at rest then follow with prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to the next step of your journey.
Tracy L Gatewood
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Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus – this book is available on Amazon
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I once heard Andrew Wommack say in a broadcast that ‘Peace is an emotion’. I had always thought of peace as a state of being or a lack of emotion or even state of rest, never having considered peace to be like other emotional responses to adverse circumstances such as fear, shame, trauma, etc. As white is the absence of all color, peace, to me, has always been simply the absence of negative emotion. This week, I decided to do a word study on peace because let’s face it – peace is a big deal. I am glad to say that we, as Believers, can stand confidently, #stableandfixed victoriously rooted in the soil of peace.
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.“
In this verse Jesus is telling us that 1) We now own our peace because it is being given as a gift from Him – the Amplified actually uses the word bequeath which is property given after death 2) We have been given the identical state of peace that Jesus Himself is able to access and 3) It was being given by Him through a different vehicle unlike any other way peace could be delivered and achieved for us on the earth.
So what is Peace and how is it possible to attain peace since we have been given its title deed? Jesus mentioned peace to the disciples multiple times near the end of His life on earth. Peace in the Hebrew (Old Testament) means ‘Shalom’, which is a rich Jewish word with multiple meanings; completeness, wholeness, soundness, prosperity, quietness, contentedness. Peace in the Greek (New Testament) is similar: tranquility, felicity, safety, fearing nothing from God, content. Spiritual Peace in the Amplified is defined as peace with God, harmony, unity, and living in an undisturbed state.
The very first words that Jesus said to the disciples when He returned to them following His crucifixion were ‘Peace to you!’ [John 20:19] He repeated that phrase again [John 20:21] moments before He breathed the Holy Spirit into them declaring “Receive the Holy Spirit!” Eight days later Jesus returned to be with His disciples and again His first words were ‘Peace to you!” [John 20:26]. Jesus found it important to proclaim, ‘Peace to you’ multiple times in a short span of days.
But why? Jesus had clearly given His disciples ownership of His peace prior to His crucifixion and then returned to them giving it over and over again. If one has been bequeathed a gift and knows it – why would the Gift-giver continue to present the gift multiple times? I believe that by Jesus releasing His peace – it was the same force that occurred when the storm was blowing when He said ‘Peace be Still’ – and then the wind died. In the same way, ‘Peace to you’, released His peace into the disciples, taking authority over any spirit that was not peaceful in that atmosphere. Here is why that can happen – Peace is a Spirit and we have dominion over every spirit on the earth.
Following 17 years of experiencing highly concentrated training sessions in the Holy Spirit’s Life Boot Camp, I have learned a few 18K gold truths, most of them through …. well let’s just say nothing associated with ease: 1) God is the source of everything. Period. 2) Holy Spirit is the best ‘Mind Manager’ ever devised (Physical Manager, too) 3) Jesus is all supply – lack of faith (fear) turns off His supply flow 4) It is only faith in Jesus that pleases God 5) A thorough knowledge of Who Jesus Christ truly is and an acceptance of the infinite, immutable love of God, (understanding that He is always working on our behalf no matter what ) are the two most stabilizing forces that exist for any individual. 6) The work of Jesus is complete, finished. There were and have been many weeks in the Boot Camp I had to fight hard for what felt like elusive peace.
When Jesus stated in John 14:27, ‘Not as the world gives do I give to you ‘ – this was a sure word that His peace was arriving via [very] Special Delivery. Enter the Holy Spirit. There is no more crucial relationship for an individual than with the Spirit of Jesus. Holy Spirit is THE internal Comforter, Advocate, Counselor, Teacher, Helper assigned by Jesus to manage the Control Panel of our peace. I have previously written about the different roles of the Godhead but in the New Covenant, the Grace Covenant – we are charged to live led by the Spirit. In today’s post, I will detail one tangible, practical application to tackle torment and unrighteous thoughts that will provide relief by partnering with the Holy Spirit. This is tried, tested and truly works.
Hebrews 10:22 Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere hearts) in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith, having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water. Hebrews 12:23-35 and to the general assembly and assembly of the firstborn who are registered [as citizens] in heaven, and to God, who is Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous (the redeemed in heaven) who have been made perfect [bringing them to their final glory], 24 and to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant [uniting God and man], and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks [of mercy], a better and nobler and more gracious message than the blood of Abel [which cried out for vengeance].
Just as blood was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat for the cleansing and forgiveness of sin on the Ark of the Covenant, the sprinkling of blood on our minds has the same impact on unrighteous thoughts. Blood is the currency of Heaven. Blood is required for the remission of sin by God. The blood of Jesus is efficacious, flowing continually to cleanse from all unrighteousness. When you call on Holy Spirit to sprinkle the blood of Jesus on your own mind as a cleansing agent from unrighteous thoughts; fear, shame, trauma, abusive memories, anger, anxiety, depression, rage, hatred, unforgiveness – He, as the Spirit of Jesus, will purify your mind from all torment and unrighteousness. The blood delivered by the Administrator of the New Covenant, The Spirit, ushers in the spirit of Peace.
When I pray for another person against depression, anxiety or any emotional turmoil – I direct a person to focus on Jesus and the crown of thorns that paid for our mental freedom. Then I bind up those spirits of fear, torment, despair, anger and anything else the Holy Spirit brings to my attention to release from this prison. [Only a Christian that reveres, understands and respects the holiness of the blood of Jesus should attempt these prayers.] To Be Continued –
If you move forward to partner with Holy Spirit for your recovery from the attacks of emotional turmoil, I am very interested in your circumstances. Please leave a comment or let me know how I can pray for you.
#StableandFixed #Jesus #Emotions #Healing
Tracy L Gatewood
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Amazon Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus
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#April27, #DisasterRecovery, #EquiptheBride, #TornadoRecovery, #TuscaloosaTornado, Equip, The Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, The Church, tornado recovery, Tracy Gatewood, Tracy Gatewood Alabama, TracyLGatewood, Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa, Alabama – I have watched for weeks as churches put forth Herculean effort to resource and rescue thousands of Tuscaloosa citizens in the wake of one of the most devastating storms in our country’s history. Still The Body functions in excellence. This week, a meeting of 40 Tuscaloosa pastors met for a time of unified, corporate prayer to seek God’s wisdom for each other, their congregations and the city. The wisdom of God will be a strong requirement to move forward with vision and fortitude in the months, and likely years, ahead.
Each day I observe the undeniable need for funding the local church as we become increasingly aware of these organizations as powerful centralized distribution hubs for stability, resource and counsel. Churches, like mini City Halls, possess the infrastructure for financial disbursement and accountability, the ability to provide clothing, food and shelter, stability and healing as well as serving as points of access for connection to every conceivable vocation through its members. Churches are the finest “one stop shopping” option for disaster relief. In the days ahead, all churches will be utilized more frequently as access hubs for immediate stabilization, healing and disbursement of resources but first they themselves must be properly structured and resourced. This is serious, time -sensitive business.
“So Pharaoh asked them, ‘Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the Spirit of God?’ ”
Pharaoh of course was referring to Joseph. This is the hour for marketplace Joseph’s to stand in preparation and walk in action to equip, fund and structure the Church, the bride of Christ, in anticipation of His return and enable Her to stand uprightly and majestically within every community served. (Not merely have Her stand with the aid of a cane or a walker – but properly financially resourced to function in full capacity. )
The need for funding has never been greater for churches and ministries in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I am writing to simply sound the alarm because of what I see happening. The anointing is here, the people and hearts are here but it is time to move and equip these Brides. Do not let the Bride go hungry (food banks), dress shabbily (clothes closets) or be in ill health (health centers) or become in disrepair. Do not let the Bride become inadequately staffed and forced to turn from people who require healing and wise counsel – the type of counsel that is imparted from the wise and Godly as they hear from the Spirit of God.
“But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty,
that gives Him understanding”
Equip the Bride and Her Children, para-church ministries that are not churches. Do not make them beg for discernment of their worth if you know they are set apart by God for His work and purposes. Tuscaloosa is no different from any other community – disaster will come to a city near you – each Bride in each community must be equipped and structured.
It is the responsibility of the Church through The Body to equip, educate and counsel people on El Shaddai (God Almighty, All Sufficient One, Genesis 17:1)and the meaning of the covenant, redemptive names purchased through the exchange at the cross and Jesus’ blood sacrifice which covers the scope of every human need:
Shammah (His Presence, Ezekial 48:35), Shalom (Peace, Judges 6:24), Ra-ah (Shepherd / Pastor, Psalm 23:1), Jireh (Provision, Genesis 22:14), Nissi, ( Banner of Victory over principalities and darkness, Exodus 17:15), Tsidkenu, (Righteousness Jeremiah 23:6), Rapha (Healer, Exodus 15:26), and Jehovah M’Kaddesh (Sanctifier, Leviticus 20:8).
A tremendous responsibility indeed but one in which The Church, the Bride of Christ is uniquely designed to deliver but must be adequately enabled to perform. Simply put, please give money to the churches, they will soon be serving entire cities, not just their own membership rolls.
The city lost 21 churches plus the Salvation Army buildings. Please pray for those people who have lost their places of worship, fellowship, resource and community. Thank you for your continued prayers that city and state government leadership and spiritual leadership hear from the spirit of God.
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Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing Wholeness, and Meeting Jesus (2015)