Lead Out Loud
“When you are placed into the Anointed one, and joined to Him, circumcision, and religious obligations can benefit you nothing. All that matters now, is living in the faith that is activated, and brought to perfection by Love.”
When we find ourselves in JESUS–rooted and grounded, coming and going from the Secret Place–faith is activated, and a LOVE EXPLOSION takes place in our hearts that transcends our hurts, our offenses, and presses us to LOVE with HIS LOVE, because “HE first loved us.” Romans 13:14, and Galatians 3:27, both speak to “putting Jesus on like we would a garment.” The New Living translation says, “clothe yourselves with the presence of Jesus–after baptism, (which is symbolic of the old way, our flesh), when the old is made new, the flesh will not lead you to sin.” For every believer this journey looks different. It is our journey of dying to the flesh, and anything that keeps us from truly knowing Him for Who He is.
On a warm Sunday morning in August 1967, a three-and-a-half-year-old little girl, walked into church with her mother. With Baby doll on her hip, and her mom’s old black patent-leather purse-packed with napkins and ‘Wrigley’s Double-mint’ gum. She walked the aisle holding on to her mother’s dress gripped in her tiny hand, and took her place on her mom’s pew. She was a quiet little one, and wasn’t fond of the nursery. On this particular Sunday, instead of reassuring her, and dropping her off anyway, her mother felt the compelling of Holy Spirit, to bring her into service. As the minister came to the close of his message, he gave a powerful altar call. The altars packed, and prayer warriors responded to stand with those contending with God for their request. He gave one more plea; simply saying, “He loves you-Jesus really loves you, and He is calling you to be His. He wants to live inside of you.” Sweet baby girl felt the presence of the Lord come on her. She began to cry, and knew what she needed to do. She reached in her purse, and pulled out a McDonald’s napkin, gently placed her baby and purse under the pew, and walked to the altar by herself. She sobbed as she knelt down, and within a few seconds her mother and the pastor were kneeling with her, and she asked Jesus to come into her heart.
This story is so vivid to me, and the details so precise, because this little girl was me. I know every detail because my mother recounted the beauty of these details many times, with such emotion-almost as much emotion as she did my actual birth. But my journey didn’t and hasn’t ended there. I grew up “IN” church my entire life. I lived life “DOING” church and had no idea; even after being filled with Holy Spirit at Kids’ Camp, graduating from Bible College, married, raising children, and in full-time ministry, that something was missing.
It wasn’t until another Sunday morning, in 1993, I was in the congregation during worship, not on the stage leading worship. Key words here: ‘in the congregation.’ Most of my life, I had never been ‘in the congregation’ during worship. My entire life had been filled serving. When your dad is a pastor of a small church, you find yourself serving in every job. Beginning at age 10, I cleaned the building, and worked in the nursery when they needed me. As I got older, I did everything from doing Children’s ministry, to running the small sound system, and pressing record for the cassette tape ministry. I sang solos, and sang in the choir, visited the nursing homes, and went to the hospitals with my dad. My mom and I delivered groceries and clothing to an at risk neighborhood. I was ‘doing’ church. Yet, on this particular Sunday, I found myself in the seats as an attendee, instead of busily leading or serving His church. And to be honest, I wasn’t very happy about my position of being ‘in time out.’ As the worship rose to the heaven’s, I stood there completely numb, frustrated, and if the truth be told, dumb-founded at my position, or lack of, and what was God’s purpose in all this, UNTIL…..my eyes were drawn to a sweet friend in her wheelchair at the altar area. We had a ministry that would pick up those with special needs in vans and bring them to church. I had never carried on a conversation with her-well, she had never spoken verbally with her mouth. She was paralyzed from the chest down, and had a tracheotomy. I would talk to her, and she would respond with a stick held in her mouth–typing out short words, some in code, on a very primitive computer screen. Remember, its 1993. What caused me to look, is she was frantically typing. I was in gallery seating that lead to the floor, and several rows above her with a birds-eye view. I thought she needed her nurse, and was attempting to communicate, and just as I was about to leave my seat, I began reading what she was trying to say. Diane’s worship began leaping from the computer monitor and hitting my heart like arrows.
“I worship You Jesus, my King. I honor You today! I lift my hands to You Jesus, and dance before You.”
I stopped in complete disbelief. I was stunned. SPEECHLESS. How is this kind of worship even possible? This outpouring, and fragrance was being released from my sweet friend, who without a supernatural miracle, could not dance, or lift her hands, and wouldn’t until she walked through the gates of heaven.
And then it came. That presence of the Almighty; the tangible, unexplainable, weightiness of His presence that was familiar to me, because He shaped and fashioned me in this secret place of His glory while I was in my mother’s womb. It was familiar to me because it drew me to Him, even as a three and a half year old little girl, and it was drawing me to Him again. And He said, “Leisa, you know everything about me. You know all the things to do and to say about me, but you do not ‘KNOW’ me.
At the age of 30, I fell to my knees, and wept. I repented, and asked Him to please come and fill every chamber of my heart where I had a closed a door. I was completely overwhelmed that the activation of His presence in Diane’s life, without uttering a physical word, had completely shifted, and aligned my life in an instant.
You see when we live in a continual PURSUIT of Jesus, faith is activated, and the Spirit within us becomes the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. The Spirit of God (Holy Spirit is His name) draws us to Jesus, and when we have an Acts 2 encounter, we are then empowered-‘activated’ to truly be the witnesses of our magnificent Savior, Jesus.
It means being completely overtaken with the Spirit of God filling our lives. This empowerment gives us the strength and the boldness to be His witnesses, to tell our story, to walk in discernment, and to do those “greater things” that Jesus spoke to them about. Diane, who was spending her days in a wheelchair, was my witness that day!
There is someone GREATER within you! And in order to make an impact, we have to live from a posture that requires living in and out of the Secret Place, and allowing HIS Kingdom–righteousness, truth, and holiness–to be the standard that sets you apart. And when you do, this scripture will become your standard:
“For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from Whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in LOVE, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” Amen!
And how do we remain there?
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. If you stay in a given place of relationship and expectancy, abiding, continuing to dwell, enduring, always being present, standing, tarrying for what is your own, and my given rhema words, my commands and my bidding, calling you to come to me, staying in relationship, then you will expect, dwell, endure, standing-fully present, and you will take for yourself what is rightfully your own.”
Don’t be in such a hurry……
He desires intimacy, not tradition
He desires relationship, not religion
He desires friendship, not an occasional visit
When a person walks along their road, a troop of angels marches before them and announces in the spirit realm: “Make way for the image of the Holy One”
Rabbi Joshua ben Levi
Living a life like this, requires KNOWing Him intimately; coming and going from the place of relationship, not in the place of just knowing about Him, and simply doing out of a religious duty, but really knowing Him. He is waiting on us there. And you will know it so quickly, because it is an all-familiar realm.
The Secret Place calls, and has since our conception. It’s not just the place of creation, but the foundation of activation.