144. Stepping Stones To Change

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

While we are building up our spirit by opening that first love gate inside us, praying continually, and waiting on the Lord, we also need to allow God to work on our soul so that it comes into proper submission to our spirit.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I (Christ in me) now live in the flesh, I (Christ in me) live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Gal 2:20).

The whole relationship changes when I recognise that I have been crucified, and when I die to self, because God is then able to join Himself to me in manifesting Himself to the world around me.

Search me, try me

Search me thoroughly, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
(Ps 139:23-24).

When we pray a prayer like that, God takes us at our word: He takes us up on what we have prayed. If we are willing to pray that prayer, He will search our heart. And He will also enable us to know what is going on in our heart. This is part of the process of change: we have to be prepared to allow God to search our hearts and show us what is there. We have to be willing to look at ourselves and see what is going on on the inside.

For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. (1 Cor 11:31 NKJV)

In judging ourselves, though, we do not compare ourselves to anyone but Jesus. God wants us to be transformed into the image of Jesus, and if we compare ourselves to Him we can see how far we have come, and how much more God still has to do in our hearts.

“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil… (Matt 13:18-23)

The word of the kingdom gets sown into our heart. There are four kinds of soil mentioned here. Because of the past there may be areas in our hearts which are trampled down, compacted and hard, like a path, and the seed cannot grow there. Or it may be the rocks and stones in our heart, the things that have happened to us, that make it hard for the word to take root. We may get distracted by allowing our flesh to direct our thinking and our behaviour. Our hearts need to be changed, transformed into good soil, so that the word of the kingdom of God can grow in us and flourish, and bear fruit.

Consider it joy

But there is a process we need to go through in order to deal with the things that are in our hearts.

…strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, – this sounds really good so far – and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22).

How is that ‘encouraging’? Because when we are in the middle of the troubles, trials, or tribulations, we need to know that it is all part of the process of God bringing transformation. I am not talking about sickness or things like that (God does not bring any sickness on us) but about situations and circumstances in our lives that highlight for us the condition of our heart in a particular area.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).

How many of us actually consider our trials as joy? But it is the attitude we have to the trials that will determine their outcome. And if we consider that God uses trials to transform us, then we will have a different approach to the situations we face. We can allow those trials to be stepping stones to change, transformation and growth; or we can resist those trials and then nothing in us will change. We have to welcome them with thanksgiving and joy. We can thank God for the trials He brings, because we know that we are being perfected, becoming complete, and will lack in nothing – just like Jesus.

If that is the outcome we are looking for, then we have to be willing to look within our lives so that we can learn, overcome, grow; so that we can see what is on the inside transformed.

Exult in tribulations

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom 5:3-5).

Exulting in tribulations is exactly the opposite of what our flesh wants to do. Gifts are given, but fruit grows. We want to grow in the fruit of the Spirit, and be more like Jesus. It is great to receive things as a gift; but we do not get character that way: it is a fruit of dealing with the trials and troubles in our lives. How we deal with them is what shapes our character and causes us to act like Jesus.

And everything operates through love. The love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, and it enables us to deal with every situation, every trial, every trouble that we face. The love of God is in us.

It is not that He is disciplining us because He does not love us. Quite the opposite: He disciplines us because He does love us, He cares for us, and He wants us to be transformed and changed. Then He can reveal us on the earth as the manifest sons of God, shining with His light, displaying His character and the fruit that comes from a life transformed by the situations that we have faced.

He Won’t Relent

The process itself may not sound too pleasant. But it will be less painful if we surrender to the process rather than struggling against it. Jesus said:

And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder (Matt 21:44 NKJV).

Our soul can be broken, and then restored; or it can be crushed. Which would you rather? As I allow brokenness in my soul, the fragrance of God’s presence comes from me. The other way fragrance can be released from something is by grinding it to powder. God wants us to be changed. He won’t relent (as we have been singing again recently) until He has it all, all of us.

God loves us too much to let us go. Time and time again He will give us opportunities to grow and be transformed. We can give Him our heart, and surrender to the process, and be filled with joy, peace and love; or we can fight, struggle, and resist what He is wanting to do. Then all that happens is that we get to go around the mountain one more time, until He gives us another opportunity to deal with the same issue. I am sure there have been times when most of us have been around the same mountain more than once, until we learnt this truth.

He wants us to look at the mountain and say, ‘This is not going to stop me. I am going to deal with this and overcome it. I am going to climb this mountain’.

When we do, that mountain is going to elevate us higher into the purposes of God for our lives.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFdeOT3lzqc

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143. Beholding And Becoming

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

As Christians, we know that God lives on the inside of us (1 John 4:15). It is when we open up the gateway of first love, and allow Him to have first place in our lives, that He will begin to transform us from the inside out. Our spirit can take its proper place of authority over both our souls and our bodies.

Praying in tongues all the time allows our spirit to be in constant connection and communion with God, and to experience a flow of revelation from heaven.

The third thing which will help us to build a strong spirit is waiting on the Lord, and being still.

Be still

As I mentioned before, I went through a period in my times with God in which I could not see anything, and nothing seemed to be happening. I found it really hard. I did not think that I would, but I did. God effectively put me in a place where I needed to trust Him. I thought I did trust Him, but I found that in fact I needed to know what was going on. So I had to surrender that to Him, allow myself to rest in a place where I did nothing but wait in His presence. When I did that, after a few weeks he began to reveal Himself and show me things again.

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint
(Isaiah 40:31).

He becomes our source. We draw from Him all that we need in our lives to fulfil our destiny in Him.

Be still, and know that I am God 
(Psalm 46:10).

He wants us to know – not in our head, but by personal encounter with His presence. That is what the hebrew sense of the word ‘know’ is: it means ‘to encounter intimately’. We have to stop trying to do things in our own strength, even trying to change ourselves, and instead surrender to Him. If we read that same scripture in the Amplified Bible it says:

Cease striving,
Let be and be still and know that I am God
(Psalm 46:10 AMP).

He will give us everything we need and empower us to do all that He is calling us to do.

Beholding and becoming

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.(2 Cor 3:18)

As we behold Jesus, as we look at God, and wait in that place where our whole attention is fixed upon Him, we become like that which we behold. We know that the kingdom of God is as close to us as the hand in front of our face; we can turn into it at any time, we can behold what is in God’s kingdom, and we can become the image of Jesus. Or, we can look at what is around us, fix our eyes on our problems and difficulties, and become more like them.

It is a choice: what are we going to look at?

If we look into a mirror, we see a reflection of ourself. But this scripture says we can see the glory of the Lord. God wants us to see ourselves as He sees us, to see ourselves through His eyes, to see ourselves the way He created us to be: full of His presence and His glory.

As we focus on Him, and see ourselves as we are supposed to be, He changes us a little at a time, so that we become more like Him. So when we actually look into a mirror, we start to see what we are like in the kingdom of God.

Now when the enemy looks at us, depending how far along this transformation we have come in relationship with God, he sees the light that is in us, and it challenges the darkness he seeks to bring. What he might see is described in Revelation chapter 1: fire in our eyes and a flaming sword coming out of our mouth – this is the likeness of Jesus into which we are being transformed. As yet, perhaps he only sees a flickering candle, but the more we focus on God, the more we wait in His presence, the more we learn to behold Him, the more that light begins to shine on the inside of us, and the more visible it becomes on the outside too.

Fix our eyes on Jesus

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith (Heb 12:2).

As we do that, He is the One who will start to change us. Our part is to fix our eyes on Him, and not be distracted; to behold Him so that we can become like Him.

If we focus on the problems, the problems always look bigger, until all we can see is the problem, and we cannot see a way out. But if we focus on the solution (which is always God), the problems look smaller, until all we can see is the solution, and we change.

For nothing will be impossible with God (Luke 1:37)

There is no situation, nothing which has happened to us in the past, nothing right now, and nothing in our future, that He cannot change if we look to Him. There is nothing He cannot transform. Nothing is impossible. There is nothing we cannot overcome; there is nothing that can stop us fulfilling our destiny, if we allow Him to strengthen us. He will make us strong, as we look to Him.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Phil 4:13).

I encourage you to spend some time today (and every day), building your spirit up by just waiting in the presence of God, and looking at Him.

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142. Present A Living Sacrifice (2)

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect
(Romans 12:1-2).

Transformation is complete, thorough, radical change. It enables us to prove (to find out and be sure of) what is the perfect will of God for us (that is, what is our destiny), and then to outwork it.

Present ourselves daily

But it involves sacrifice.

Worship is surrender. Worship is obedience. So we come to Jesus, our High Priest, and we present ourselves at the altar as a living sacrifice. This is something we are to do every day. We present ourselves to God so that He can use us, He can transform us, He can change us. It is not the sacrifice who is responsible for the changing. We do not have to transform ourselves: we merely have to present ourselves and God will do the changing.

So by faith we enter the Holy Place, in the heavenly tabernacle, in the heavenly realms. There is an altar there. Not the bronze altar where Israel used to offer sacrifices: Jesus was offered on that altar once and for all. We come instead to the altar of incense. When we give ourselves to God as a living sacrifice, the fragrance of our submitted lives goes up before Him, and He loves it.

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus… (Heb 10:19).

Because of Jesus’ sacrifice and death, we can come right into the Holy Place. We do not come on our own merit, we come by the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:17).

Jesus is our High Priest, and He prepares the sacrifice that we give Him: our life. We have to present ourselves to Him and allow Him to deal with us. So we come by faith to surrender. We have looked before at the details of how the sacrificial lamb was prepared for sacrifice. It is really helpful for us to understand how those steps apply to us. If you are not familiar with this, please do take the time to read about it before moving on.

Click this link to read our earlier post (opens in a new window or tab): Present A Living Sacrifice (1) or copy and paste this line into your browser:
https://freedomarc.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/present-a-living-sacrifice/ 

Preparing the sacrifice

It is a picture of what we need to have done to us. The priest slit its throat, drained its blood, chopped off its head, skinned it, split it open, right down to the marrow of the backbone. Everything was opened up before God. All the inner organs were washed and  the legs cut off. Then the pieces were put on the altar.

We have to surrender our lives to Him, fully, for Him to do what He needs to do. Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it” (Luke 9:23-24). We surrender our life to God, and exchange His life for ours. That is the meaning of sacrifice.

Dead, but alive

Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
(Rom 6:11-13).

If the flesh has to die, how is it a living sacrifice? It is because the flesh dies, but we carry on living in the spirit. Then our flesh does not get in the way, and the members of our body can be presented as instruments of righteousness, so that God can use us for His kingdom purposes. ‘Not my will, but Yours be done’, as Jesus said.

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart (Heb 4:12 AMP).

We are allowing God to open us up and reveal the deepest parts of our nature, to cleanse us, to purify us, and restore us; to expose, sift, analyse, and judge the very thoughts and purposes of our heart. And because he loves us, He will change us from the inside out, so that we are more like Him.

‘In like manner’

In our daily walk we are surrendered and obedient to what God wants to do in us. We walk by faith and not by sight; according to His will and not ours, only doing what we see the Father doing. And the Father in us is able to do all His works through us. That is how Jesus lived every day, and He wants us to live every day that way too.

We cannot do it in our own strength. We cannot do it by the flesh. We can only do it in the spirit. We have to surrender.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner” (John 5:19). If Jesus could do nothing of Himself, how much less can we?

Faith of the Son of God

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20 KJV).

When Jesus was on the cross, bearing our sin, we were crucified with Him. He is living in me, and that life is lived by faith of the Son of God (I have purposely quoted a translation that says ‘of’: it is not even my faith that I live by, but His). Jesus surrendered His life so that we could have full, abundant life. I want to encourage you, every day to present yourself as a living sacrifice before God. Surrender, and allow Him to prepare you, to change you, to transform you from the inside out, to deal with your soul so that your spirit can flow in the life of God.

We are going to pray, and I want to encourage you to be willing to daily deny yourself and allow the Spirit and the life of God to flow through you, out from you, and to change you.

Every day, present yourself. I do, every day; so that every day, God can use me.

Father, I thank You that You sent Jesus
to die on the cross for me
to take my sin, my sickness,
and everything about my flesh,
and to die in my place.

I choose to surrender myself as a living sacrifice to You,
and allow You to prepare my life
for the life of Jesus to flow from me.

Prepare my life as I surrender,
so that everything that has come through nature
can be transformed
everything that has come through nurture
can be transformed,
everything that has come through trauma

can be transformed,
so that I live a life flowing in the Spirit and in the power of God
bringing the kingdom of God from heaven to earth,
living as a manifestation of Your presence here on earth,
that Your light would shine through me.

I open up my life in surrender to You.
so that You can do Your work through me
and that I might bring glory to You.

Jesus, as You gave Your life for me,
I choose to give my life to You, daily,
as a living sacrifice,
in order to fulfil my destiny
and the purposes of God, here and now in this time,
so that in eternity I will be able to fulfil all You have for me to do there.

Father, I praise You,
Father, I bless You,
In Jesus’ Name

.Amen.

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141. The Flesh Profits Nothing

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

God intends us to be spirit, soul and body, in that order. Our soul and body should be subject to our spirit, now that our spirit has come alive to God. If we want to build a strong spirit, we saw last time how praying in tongues on the inside and on the outside is something we need to practise.

Meanwhile we also need to deal with the soul.

Nothing good

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
(Gal 5:16).

Our spirit needs to be strong to lead, direct and guide us in our everyday life so that we will not carry out the desires of the flesh. The desires of the flesh are not good, and we have to accept that. We want to believe there is a bit of good in there somewhere, but there is not. There is nothing good about our flesh whatsoever. It always gets us in a mess.

For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please (Gal 5:17).

So whilst my spirit is flowing from the Holy Spirit, and the purposes of God for my life and my destiny, my flesh has tried to get in the way and has to be brought into line. Our flesh wants to please itself; our spirit desires to please God.

Two completely different agendas, because if you please yourself you cannot please God (and our flesh does not even want us to understand that).

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing”
(John 15:5).

Nothing of any eternal value or significance can be done apart from Jesus; apart from Him who dwells in our spirit, and flows through our life.

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing…” (John 6:63).

Trust

That is really hard for the flesh to take. We really like to think we can at least do something. I went through a time in my personal times with God in which I was engaging Him in the garden of my heart, but I was in complete pitch-black darkness. It was not a place of fear, just of not being able to see anything and resting in complete stillness before Him. I found it so hard. I really wanted to know what was happening.

But God said, “Will you just trust Me? Just stay still, and let Me do what I need to do to prepare you for what is to come”. I thought, “Of course I can do that”. But when it came to it, my flesh was desperate to know what was going on. I remember one day I cried out to Him, “O God, what is going on?”. And He answered me, “I don’t need your assistance, just your surrender”. It was really difficult. But what it came down to was this:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding

(Proverbs 3:5).

I had to realise that maybe I did not trust Him as much as I thought I did. I had to die to that need to know what was going on. I had to choose to trust God even if I could not see anything. I had to trust that whatever He would do would be the best thing for me. So I know it is hard when we have to deal with the flesh.

Humanism is independence from God. It is doing things without God. That is what Adam and Eve bought into when they sinned. Satan offered them the opportunity to gain knowledge without God. Everything in dealing with the flesh is dealing with humanism and dealing with independence. There is nothing good that comes from independence.

Self

We need to die to self.

Self-centredness: it is very difficult because of course we are at the centre of all that goes on in our life, but that has to flow from the spirit, not the flesh. Selfishness is wanting to put myself first above everybody else, whereas when Jesus came He said, “I have not come to be served, but to serve”. That is a completely different attitude, and I should also seek to serve rather than be served. There is no place for selfishness or self-centredness in that. We are so accustomed to being self-centred, and life revolving around us.

Anyone who is married knows that when you get married, life does not revolve around you as a single person any more. You have to think about somebody else. When we become Christians, we enter into a relationship with God in which we are no longer in first place: He is. When we become Christians, we say that we make Him Lord of our life: we must make sure that He really is.

We need to die to self-importance, self-promotion, self-reliance, self-sufficiency, even self-belief. There is nothing of the spirit in these. We can have no self-righteousness. Self-help, self-expression.

You might think, ‘Surely they are not all negative?’. Anything that comes from the flesh is negative, and however hard we find that, we have to surrender.

Self-respect, self-esteem, self-worth. If my self-respect comes from what I have done in the flesh, if my self-esteem comes from what I can do, they are not good. I want my esteem to come from how God sees me; from knowing who I am as a child of God, knowing the love of God, knowing the value He places upon me. My worth comes from knowing that I am God’s child, that He loves me and has a purpose for me. My self-image is not how I view myself, but it is seeing myself as God sees me. If we could really see ourselves as God sees us, it would transform everything about our lives.

Some things are more obviously negative: self-gratification, self-indulgence. Making ourselves feel good, using food, shopping, sex, drugs, alcohol. Whatever it is, if the self is involved, it needs to die. It needs to go on the cross.

The cross

The cross is not a pleasant place. When Jesus went to face the cross, when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, His soul was in anguish. Literally, He sweat drops of blood, He was in so much anguish. He saw what He was going to have to carry on the cross; He looked into the cup, and in that cup was every sin we have ever committed, every negative thought, every sickness that has been on our body, every sin committed against us: He took it all physically upon Himself, because He loved us so much.

He chose to say, ‘Not My will, but Yours be done’ even when His flesh, His soul, looked into what it was going to have to carry. Being sinless, because He loved us so much, He was willing to go to the cross and take our sin, our flesh, our self, and be crucified. He also represented us there so that we could identify with Him through the bread and the wine.

I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me
(Gal 2:20 JUB)

He died so that we could be free from the flesh, because our flesh died with Him.

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140. Pray Without Ceasing

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

All the flow of the life of God comes through us from the inside out. The choice is ours whether we surrender, and allow it to flow, or not.

Last time we looked at various prayers and declarations (you can read them by clicking here). I want to encourage you to use those declarations to unblock your conscience, reason, imagination, mind, and all the other gates; use them every day.

Spirit, soul and body

In this series on Preparing For Destiny, we are looking mainly at two areas: how to build up the spirit and how to restore and refine the soul. In today’s post we are looking mostly at building the spirit, but we need to have both things going on at the same time. It is no good trying to deal with the soul if the spirit is not strong enough to assume its rightful place. It is no good having a strong spirit if our soul is still battling to remain in control. We need to deal with both aspects together, so that we become spirit, soul and body (not body, soul and spirit).

If our spirit is really weak because it has never really been used, then it is going to find it difficult to rule. And if our soul is really strong because it has become accustomed to being in charge, it needs to submit. We have to learn how to build up our spirit and how to have our soul restored and refined so that everything is in its proper order in us.

When God created Adam, originally his spirit was in charge. His soul was not connected to the outside world but through his spirit and his relationship with God. He had no self-awareness apart from awareness of God, and God’s Spirit. God wants to restore us to that condition.

We looked before at a list of some things we can do to begin to build our spirit.

First of all we saw that we need to give God first place, first love, first priority.

Praying in tongues

The second area to focus on is praying and singing in tongues. This was probably the most important breakthrough for me in training my senses to engage the heavenly realms: learning to pray in tongues without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

People have taught it as if that verse just means we should pray regularly. That is not what it says. It says, ‘Pray without ceasing’. That means all the time. 24 hours a day, our soul can be directed by our spirit because our spirit is connected with God and praying without ceasing, and receiving a constant flow of revelation as it does so.

We begin by praying in tongues on the outside. We pray out loud in tongues, and we begin to train our spirit by praying in tongues and getting connected with God. And we can also pray in tongues on the inside. Most of us find it easy enough to pray inwardly in tongues when we are quiet and not doing anything else.

But we can train our spirit to pray in tongues on the inside whilst doing something else on the outside, and also to be praying in tongues on the outside whilst meditating on God’s word on the inside. It takes practice to do those things, and we have to take the time to do spiritual exercises so that we learn.

Two exercises

We can try two exercises now.

We begin by praying on the inside, silently, in tongues for a minute or so.

Then, as we begin to flow in that and our spirit engages (and without stopping praying in tongues on the inside), we read aloud Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

It seems strange at first, but with practice it becomes easier!

Now we are going to pray in tongues on the outside, whilst meditating on this same scripture on the inside.

We begin again by praying in tongues, but this time out loud, for one minute.

Then, as we begin to flow in that once more and our spirit engages (and without stopping praying in tongues on the outside), we begin to meditate on the first verse of the psalm:

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want

We read it over slowly several times, a word at a time, on the inside, and allow God to speak to us about what we are reading, all the while continuing to pray in tongues out loud.

If this is new to us, we can feel that it is a stretch for our spirit, just like physical exercise is for our body if we are not used to it. But if we do this for a few minutes every day, then with practice and perseverance our spirit will grow stronger. And I now realise that the payoff for this is even more far-reaching than I understood when I first began doing it: we are rewiring our minds for living in dual realms of heaven and earth, aware of both at the same time, just as Jesus did.

The Night Watch

We are told to meditate on what God says day and night (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2). How can you meditate when you are asleep? You can train your spirit to be awake, while your body is asleep. It is called the ‘night watch’ in the Psalms. We can be awake in our spirit and engaging with God even as our body sleeps. Then we need to have our soul be awake too, so that we can remember all the things we are engaged with, and all the revelation we receive.

Training, practice, discipline, exercise

When I was on the 40-day fast a few years ago, God told me that He wanted me to start each day by praying out loud in tongues for an hour. And as I was doing that, my spirit began to get really stirred so that I started to learn how to pray on the tongues on the inside. So now I can be praying in tongues while I am speaking to someone, or listening to them, so that I am receiving a flow of revelation.

Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1).

That means we need to desire them eagerly. They have to be really important to us. If building our spirit is not important to us, our spirit will remain as it was: weak and ineffective, subject to the whims of our soul.

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As we have said before, if you want a strong physical body; if you want to be in good shape with plenty of muscle, you have to get regular exercise. You cannot do it any other way. Maybe you have seen those advertisements for devices you can strap on while watching the TV and they promise you will get a six-pack? Save your money. They don’t work. You have to train your physical body, and it is the same with your spirit. If we want a spirit that is like Jesus’ spirit, able to do all the things that He was able to do here on earth, we need to train our spirit, and go to spiritual gym. Praying and singing in tongues, and using other spiritual gifts, is spiritual gym. It builds our spirit up. The more we use our muscles, the stronger they become.

Paul writes, Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues (1 Cor 14:5) and, ‘I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all (1 Cor 14:18). The spiritual language that we have might be a language of men, it might be a language of angels; but it is a language we are given to communicate with God.

Building, edifying, strengthening

One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself (1 Cor 14:4), he builds himself up, strengthens himself. If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful (1 Cor 14:14). That is exactly how it is supposed to be with praying in tongues. We have to put our conscious mind in its rightful place, which is in subjection to our spirit. And sometimes we might wonder ‘what am I praying when I am praying in tongues?’ Actually we are not supposed to know, in our head, in our conscious mind. Our spirit will know, and we may get to know consciously if a flow of thought comes spontaneously to our mind from our spirit. But not the other way around.

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit… (Jude 1:20).

So praying in the Holy Spirit, when our spirit and the Spirit of God are joined together as we pray in tongues, builds us up in our faith and it strengthens our spirit. And we need a strong spirit that is able to rule, able to be in charge.

So I pray in tongues while meditating, while reading the Bible, while doing everything I can possibly do. I pray in tongues while I am ministering to people, so that I get a flow of revelation. I pray in tongues when I am seeking God for revelation and direction. Because it is a flow of the thoughts of God that flow from the spirit. Praying in tongues keeps me connected to God who is on the inside of me.

He knows everything, so if I need to know something, where is that going to come from? It is going to come from the revelation that flows from His boundless knowledge. He is all-powerful, so I can be connected to His power, so that His power can flow through me to change things around me. He is also omnipresent, and since I am in Him, I can see things outside of my physical domain. I can see things in other parts of the world (or cosmos), I can see things that are going on in the heavenly realms. I can do that because He is everywhere. He is in all things, past, present and future, and I can be connected to Him. But I have to be flowing, and my spirit (rather than my soul) has to be strong, in charge, and ruling.

Rivers of living water

Tongues keeps the flow of the life of God coming.The more I pray in tongues, the more the Spirit is filling me, moving me, leading me. The rivers of living water flow from within me (as Jesus promised in John 7:38), because my spirit is open and allowing the Spirit of God to flow out through my life to touch people around me.

This is just how it happened for Jesus. We are here, as Christians, to be ‘little Christs’. That is what the word means. Anointed ones, just as He was anointed: we are anointed by the Holy Spirit to fulfil the purposes of God.

You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
(Isa 58:11 NLT).

The flow of life comes from within our spirit out through our lives. We need to build our spirit up. I would encourage you, pray in tongues as much as you can. Even if you are doing something else, because you do not need to engage the left side of your brain to pray in tongues. It is a right-brained activity. That is the same area of our brain where visions can be projected, from the inside out, from our spirit onto the screen of our imagination. Then we can see them, see the things of God, and have visitations with Him.

Praying in tongues is absolutely key to developing all of this. We need to practise it.

Related articles from others

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139. Declarations For Transformation

Mike Parsons 
with Jeremy Westcott

If you are willing

If you have reached this far with us in this series on Preparing For Destiny, we are going to make some declarations together (if you have just come across this blog today, you are welcome to join us, but you might want to read a few recent posts first). So, if you are serious about wanting to surrender your life and allow God to change you from the inside out, then let us make these declarations together of our willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to show us what is going on inside us, and to transform and to change us

Please only pray these prayers and make these declarations if you are willing. Otherwise, what if God takes you at your word, and does what needs to be done to transform you? If you are not willing and do not cooperate, it will feel like He is putting the squeeze on you like you have never known. It is better to just read over them and wait until you are really ready; better not to ask Him to do this if you’re not up for it.

Speak them aloud

But if you do mean it, if you truly want to change, then I would encourage you to stand up and to speak these things out loud. Actually speaking the words carries a power to cause them to begin to come to pass in you. If you cannot do that where you are right now, please make sure to come back and speak them aloud later.

We are giving permission to God. He is going to listen to what you’re saying and the authority that you are giving Him in your life, and He is going to start to move. At the end of the declarations, there is a prayer in which there will be a release of the angelic to operate in your life: seraphim angels with coals from the heavenly altar, and the gathering angels who will come to remove the stumbling blocks from your life.

Let’s say this out loud together:

Father, I choose to give You full permission
to do whatever it takes
to change me and transform me into the image of Jesus.

I give You full permission
to remove all stumbling blocks from me.

I give You full permission
to use whatever means You see fit
to purify, refine and restore me to my original eternal condition.

Father, I choose to deny myself
and surrender control of my life to You.

I give You my conscience.
I repent of and renounce everything that has damaged it.
I ask You to purify and restore it.
Direct and protect me through my conscience
by a flow of reverence and fear of the Lord.

Father, I choose to deny myself
and surrender control of my life to You.

I give You my reason centre.
I repent of and renounce doubt, unbelief,
rationalism, skepticism, cynicism and denial.
I ask You to cleanse me
of all false doctrine, philosophies and ideas.
I ask You to renew and restore my reason.
Use my reason to interpret Your thoughts
and understand Your ways.

Father, I choose to deny myself
and surrender control of my life to You.

I give You my imagination
I repent of and renounce viewing
any image that has polluted me.
I ask You to blot out every negative image
with the blood of Jesus.
Purify and restore my imagination
Restore my screen, vision and revelation.

Father, I choose to deny myself
and surrender control of my life to You.

I give You my heart, my sub-conscious mind.
I repent of and renounce
all strongholds, negative belief and value systems,
vows, words, curses, doctrines, triggers,
coping and defence mechanisms.
I ask You to cleanse every negative memory.
Purify, restore and reprogram my heart
with Your truth,
with Your values
and with my destiny.

Father, I choose to deny myself
and surrender control of my life to You.

I give You my emotions.
I repent of and renounce
all unforgiveness, bitterness and anger.
I ask You to purify and restore my emotions.
Use my emotions to let me feel Your heart
and guide me through intuition.

Father, I choose to deny myself
and surrender control of my life to You.

I give You my will
I repent of and renounce
all sin, rebellion, stubbornness, wilfulness, control,
fear, doubt, unbelief, indecision.
I ask You to purify and restore my will
and restore courage, perseverance and boldness.
Use my will to enable me to do Your will
through obedience and true worship.

Father, I choose to deny myself
and surrender control of my life to You.

And Father, I choose to follow my eternal destiny
into lordship, kingship and sonship.
Display me as a son of light on the earth.
I choose to do the works of Jesus
and the greater works.
I choose, as an ambassador,
to administer the rule of the kingdom of God
on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Amen.


Father, as we have made these declarations together

I pray you would release the gathering angels to operate in our lives
to remove all stumbling blocks, 
to restore and heal and make our lives whole.
Bring us back into an eternal destiny and purpose.

I release the seraphim angels into our lives
to bring coals from the heavenly altar
to purify our lips,
to purify our hearts in every way

so that we are conformed to the image of Jesus.

I release the anointing of your presence
over the next weeks and months
to transform our lives
and change us into the image of Jesus
so we can be Jesus here on earth
manifesting the kingdom of God
on earth as it is in heaven.

I pray that each day
we will surrender ourselves as a living sacrifice
to allow you to change us.
We give up all effort to change ourselves
and we allow you to change us
from the inside out
as we surrender.

Father we thank you that you love us.
You are not punishing us
but you are disciplining us
to transform us
into the person you called us to be from eternity past.

We bless you and thank you in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

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